Cuba's Raul Castro term in office likely extended

22 December, 2017, 01:49 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Cuba's President Raul Castro and Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Diaz Canel are seen during the National Assembly in Havana

Cuban President Raul Castro plans to stay in office until next April before stepping aside, two months longer than originally anticipated, which then would end almost six decades of Castro family rule of the communist country.

Castro, 86, had initially said he would retire at the end of his two terms on February 24, Miami Herald reported. Since then, Raul Castro said that there should be age limits for which an individual can serve in the government. The announcement did not mention such action.

Castro has reiterated on several occasions that he will step down as president in 2018, although he will remain as first secretary of the central committee of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

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Castro is expected to retain his position as head of the Communist Party, which sets the parameters of government policy and overall direction of the country.

It's still unclear who would succeed Castro, who took power in 2008 and replaced late leader and brother Fidel Castro. Raul Castro began a series of domestic reforms that included the spread of internet and cellphone access, freedom to travel for most Cubans and the ability to buy and sell cars and houses.

The Trump administration earlier this year put in place restrictions on Americans traveling to the islands and US companies doing business with entities controlled by the communist government.

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