(CNN) – In a historic move, Raul Castro on Friday confirmed his resignation as the first secretary of the only political party allowed in Cuba at the Communist Party Congress in Cuba.
In reports aired on Cuban state television, Castro said he had confidence in a new generation of officials.
Assaulting a lecturer, Castro said he would continue to “fight” to defend the Cuban revolution and “nothing forced him to withdraw.” Castro’s replacement is expected to be chosen during a four-day congressional hearing that will end on Monday.
Relations between Cuba and the United States.
With then US President Barack Obama, Castro He repaired the tense relations between the United States and Cuba, only to see these relations break down again under the Trump administration, which imposed some severe sanctions against Cuba.
But until now, current President Joe Biden has been reluctant to commit to an island run by communists despite decades of significant changes in leadership in Cuba.
“This is a good moment to get engaged, whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat,” said former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), a member of the Republican Party, who insisted on unusually good relations and met Raul during several trips to Cuba. “It benefits the Cuban people and puts pressure on the Cuban government, which is not there when we try to isolate it.”
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The beginning of a new era in Cuba after Raul Castro
It is hard to imagine a more dangerous time for the last members of an older generation that finally transformed Cuba into a socialist state to finally seize power. Despite growing uncertainty, Cubans hope to see a historic change of guard this week during the VIII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, the “supreme body” of the only political party allowed on the island.
The conference begins on Friday, and is planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s victory over the Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA-trained deportees. Raul Castro is expected to step down as the first secretary of the Communist Party.
Since the first years of the revolution, the Cuban head of state has always led the party, so it is impossible to determine where the government ends and where the party begins.
However, Castro resigned as president in 2018, leading to his successor, Miguel Diaz-Colonel, who will take over the day-to-day administration of the government. Castro was the leader of the party, which oversees long-term planning, but said Thiaz-Colonel would accept that role in 2021.
“After that,” Castro said in 2018, “if my health allows, I will still be a soldier with people defending their revolution.”
Castros end to power
Raul Castro’s departure will bring an end to the era of his famous clan that ruled the island. None of the children of Castro’s older brother Fidel, who died in 2015, have held government positions.
Raஜl Castro’s son Alejandro is a colonel in the Cuban Interior Ministry and his daughter, Mariela, runs a government center that promotes LGBTW rights. A nephew, General Louis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Colleges runs a vast military agency that controls hotels, marinas and state infrastructure projects, but maintains a low public profile.
Although they continue to exercise unquestioned power on the island, after the conference, no one with Castro’s last name will hold the top post for the first time in more than 62 years.
Cuba is one of the least changed countries since the end of the Cold War, despite government officials acknowledging that the island needs to be radically transformed. Finding a way to modernize the Cuban economy will fall squarely on the shoulders of Miguel Diaz-Colonel, who was Castro’s president, who is expected to take over as leader of the Communist Party.
Who is Miguel Theas-Colonel?
Trained as an electrical engineer, Thias-Kennel led local governments in two provinces before becoming Minister of Higher Education and later Vice President and President.
He was the first Cuban Dias-Colonel to become president after the 1959 revolution. Gaining party leadership would further establish the technocrat as Castro’s political successor. However, it is not clear how it differs from its predecessors.
When asked by reporters in 2018 about his vision for the future of Cuba, Theas-Colonel told reporters, “I believe in continuity.” “I think there will always be continuity.”
Diaz-Kennel tried to present a very active image to the Cuban public, which he regularly posts on Twitter. He immediately visited the incident that killed 112 people in the 2018 plane crash in Havana, and is holding meetings across the island as Fidel Castro did.
CNN journalist travels to the island with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Kennel
The situation may have changed somewhat, but he strongly supports the idea that the tight state control of the Diaz-Colonel economy is the best way to Cuba, despite decades of stagnant economic growth. He also said that any public outcry in the party ranks was the work of Cubans who were “born bad” or “born in the wrong country”.
Of course with all the official speeches to stay, Cuba is changing. Many in Cuba’s burgeoning private sector are openly complaining about the slow pace of reforms. Artists and activists advocating for the protection of animal rights, tired of official censorship, used Internet access to organize and advertise small demonstrations that could not have been imagined a few years ago.
As the Cuban government faces more challenges and threats, some militants may be wary of Raul Castro leaving. However, former Senator Jeff Flake told CNN that Castro was likely to oppose a last-minute request for a stay.
“He’s definitely more interested in going into the sunset than his brother. He’s always talked about his grandchildren and his family,” Flake said. “But to move forward equally, they must go far beyond Castro to implement the reforms needed in Cuba.