Raul Castro elected new leader at Cuban party congress

13:40, April 20, 2011      

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Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro (L) and Cuban leader Raul Castro attend the closing ceremony of the sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party(CCP) in Havana, capital of Cuba, April 19, 2011. Raul Castro was elected as the first secretary of the CCP, according to the final report of the sixth Congress of the party, which ended here Tuesday. (Xinhua Photo)

The Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) closed on Tuesday with Raul Castro elected as first secretary, replacing Fidel Castro as the party's leader.

Raul, 79, was elected to the top post by 1,000 delegates of the congress, formalizing the role he has played since he took over power from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006.

Fidel, 84, who had been leading the PCC since he founded the party in 1965, announced his resignation from the top leadership in an article published by official Cuban media Tuesday, while Jose Ramon Machado Ventura was elected the party's second secretary.

"I promise to be a soldier of ideas and I can still fulfill that duty," Fidel said.

Fidel's illness and retirement ended an era of Cuban history, marked by his strong leadership and the fact that 70 percent of Cuba's population were born during his decades-long rule.

"Fidel does not need to take any office to stay on top in history, in the present and the future of Cuba," Raul said during the closing remarks of the congress.

Seen as one of the world's most charismatic leaders, Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 48 years despite the decades-long U.S. embargo, and survived the Cold War and the global political transformation following the collapse of former Soviet Union in 1989.

"I will never retire from politics, revolution or my ideas," Fidel said. Since resigning from the Cuban leadership, he has devoted himself to writing editorials on international affairs in the official Granma daily .


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Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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