Profile: First Secretary of Cuban Communist Party Raul Castro

08:45, April 20, 2011      

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Cuban leader Raul Castro was elected first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP), according to the final report of the sixth Congress of the party, which ended here Tuesday.

The following is a profile of Raul Castro.

Raul Castro was born on June 3, 1931 in the town of Biran in northern Cuba.

He received his early education in the city of Santiago de Cuba and later moved to Havana to attend high school and university, where he participated in student protests against the corrupt government of Carlos Prio and the Batista dictatorship.

In 1953, he was a delegate to the International Conference for the Defense of the Rights of Youth in Vienna.

On July 26, 1953, he joined the attack against the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, leading the fight at the Palace of Justice and supporting the main action commanded by his brother, Fidel Castro.

For those events, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

In 1956, he was pardoned after the popular struggle, but later forced to seek asylum in the Mexican Embassy and traveled to that country.

In Mexico, he was involved in the preparation for an expedition that culminated with the landing of the Granma yacht carrying 82 men on Dec. 2, 1956.

He participated in the campaign of the Sierra Maestra mountains, and on Feb. 27, 1958, he was promoted to Comandant by Fidel Castro to command a column through the former Oriente province and open the Eastern Front II until the end of the war.

After the triumph of the Cuban revolutionaries in January 1959, he was appointed military commander of Oriente Province.

In October of that year, he was appointed minister of the newly established Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces, a post he held until 2006, when his brother Fidel handed over power to him after falling ill.

In October 1965, after the establishment of the CCP Central Committee, he was elected second secretary, and re-elected at the second, third, fourth and fifth party congresses.

On Dec. 3, 1976, he was elected first vice president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers, positions he held until 2006.

On Feb. 24, 2008, he was elected president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers, formally taking over power from Fidel Castro.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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