International

Raul Castro retires as head of Cuban communist party

Havana, Apr 17 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/17/2021 12:40:52 PM IST

Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), has announced his retirement as the head of the party.

“As for me, my task as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Party concludes, with the satisfaction of having fulfilled (my mission) and confidence in the future of the country,” Castro said on Friday after presenting the key report on the opening day of the PCC’s 8th Congress.

Delegates gave Castro, the younger brother of late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, a standing ovation.

The 89-year-old said he declined “a proposal to remain in the higher organs of the party organization, in whose ranks I will continue to be a revolutionary combatant”.

“As long as I live I will be ready with my foot on the stirrup to defend the homeland, the revolution and socialism with more strength than ever.”

Raul Castro expressed confidence in the new leaders of the party, and his satisfaction in handing over the reins to a well-prepared group of people committed to ethics, cultural values and the nation.

Castro’s retirement takes effect on Monday, the last day of the Congress, when the party’s new leadership will be elected.

He was elected to the top position of the PCC in April 2011 at the PCC’s 6th Congress, succeeding Fidel Castro, who had held that position since the founding of the party in 1965.

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