The Cuban Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz, announced on Friday his retirement as first secretary of the Communist Party of his country,
During a speech on the first day of the Communist Party’s eighth congress, he said he would hand over power to a younger generation that is “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit.”
“I believe fervently in the strength and exemplary nature and comprehension of my compatriots, and as long as I live, I will be ready with my foot in the stirrups to defend the fatherland, the revolution and socialism,” Castro told party delegates at the closed-door meeting at a convention center in Havana.
He was retiring, Castro said, with the sense of having “fulfilled his mission and confident in the future of the fatherland.”
Though Castro did not name his successor during the speech, it’s expected that a subsequent vote will ratify President Miguel Díaz-Canel as the next party secretary-general and set policy guidelines.
Raul Castro had said in 2018 he expected Díaz-Canel to replace him after his retirement in 2021. Díaz-Canel, 60, represents a new generation and is serving the first of two five-year terms as president.