The Castro era in Cuba is coming to an end: Raúl Castro hands over the scepter

In Cuba the Castro era comes to an end: at a congress of the Communist Unity Party, which took place on Friday in Havana began, the previous party leader is leaving Raul Castro out of office. Next to the 89-year-old brother of the long-time president and revolutionary leader who died in 2016 Fidel Castro The 90-year-old José Ramón Machado Ventura and the 88-year-old Ramiro Valdés are also saying goodbye to the leadership of the party.

The Castro brothers were at the head of the Caribbean state for more than six decades, so that most of the residents have no memory of the time before this era. Presumably on Monday, President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who with his 60 years almost stands for an epochal upheaval, is to be elected as the new First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

Díaz-Canel took over the presidency from Raúl Castro in 2018. It was the first generation change at the top of the Cuban state since the revolution. Raúl Castro's older brother Fidel, who is still venerated in Cuba as a máximo líder, was Cuba's government from 1959 to 2006. When the revolutionary leader fell ill, Raúl Castro took over the business of government in 2006 and was formally elected head of state in 2008. Now the 89-year-old is resigning from the office of president as well as the highest office in the party.

"Dream a country and continue it: the 8th PCC party congress begins today," wrote Díaz-Canel on Friday in the online service Twitter. He announced a "party congress of continuity". The president promised that nothing would change in Cuba's politics either.

The Cuban economy has recently suffered severely from increasingly severe US sanctions during the tenure of ex-President Donald Trump and from the collapse of tourism in the corona pandemic. Trump's sanctions meant that the cruise ships with the US tourists stayed away, and ultimately also the transfers that the Cubans had received from their relatives abroad.