Cuba may not be experiencing the same type of revolution that has shaken many countries in the Middle East recently, but that doesn't mean it's not undergoing some fundamental shifts in its decades-old political system. Reuters reports from Holguin, Cuba that Fidel Castro is expected to resign as party chief of country's Communist party--the only legal political party in Cuba--in April. If he does, he will step down from his last official leadership position, though he does remain a symbolic and influential presence on the island.
One of the world's longest serving rulers at the time, Castro officially handed over the duties of president to his brother Raul Castro in February 2008 due to his declining health. According to Reuters, the 84 year-old Castro had previously handed over the responsibilities of first secretary of the party, but held on to the title. Raul is in line to succeed Fidel as top leader of the Communist party. As Reuters notes, "because there are currently no other Castro family members in leading positions, the second secretary spot [previously held by Raul] likely will be filled by someone without Castro as a last name for the first time since the party was created in 1965."
It's worth noting that President Raul Castro, who has said that modernizing the country's Soviet-style economy is a goal, is no youthful politician either--he's 79. Meanwhile, many have intensified their calls for increased freedom in Cuba in lieu of the social upheaval taking place across the globe.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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