Raul Castro to step down as head of Cuba’s Communist Party

Raul Castro (Photo: Watertown Daily News)

For the first time in 62 years, Cuba will not have a leader that is named Castro.

Raul Castro, brother of the late Fidel Castro will be stepping down as leader of the Communist Party of Cuba.

The brothers have been in power since the 1959 revolution.

Raúl Castro assumed power in 2008 as his brother Fidel’s health failed, first as president, and then in 2011 as first secretary of the communist party. Until then, he had led the army, his brother’s most loyal and trusted enforcer and advisor.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel will succeed Raul as president. Díaz-Canel, 60, represents a new generation and is serving the first of two five-year terms as president.

Sixty-year-old Díaz-Canel represents a new generation and is serving the first of two five-year terms as president.

“No one knows what is coming,” says the Cuban-born historian Ada Ferrer, author of the forthcoming Cuba: An American History. “No one knows what it will be like not to have this Castro family dynamic at the heart of Cuba after 60 years.”