Raul Castro resigns as Communist chief, ending era in Cuba

Raul Castro (Photo: Courtesy of United Nations)

HAVANA (AP) — Raul Castro says he is stepping down as head of Cuba’s Communist Party, ending an era of formal leadership by he and his brother Fidel Castro that began with the 1959 revolution.

Castro made the announcement Friday in a speech at the opening of the Eighth congress of the ruling party, the only one allowed on the island.

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Castro didn’t say who he would endorse as his successor as first secretary of the Communist Party, but he previously has indicated that he favors yielding control to Miguel Díaz-Canel, who succeeded him as president in 2018.