Raúl Castro

Cuba’s Raúl Castro has resigned as Cuban Communist Party chief, ending his family’s six decades in power.

89-year-old Castro told a party congress that he is handing over the leadership to a younger generation “full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit”, BBC reported.

His successor will be voted in at the end of the four-day congress.

The move, which was expected, ends the era of formal leadership by him and his brother Fidel Castro, which began with the 1959 revolution.

“I believe fervently in the strength and exemplary nature and comprehension of my compatriots,” he told party delegates in Havana on Friday.

Although Castro has not endorsed a successor, he is expected to be replaced by his handpicked successor, President Miguel Díaz-Canel, a longtime party apparatchik.

In his speech, Castro effusively praised Díaz-Canel, saying he had built a good team, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Nevertheless, he said in retirement he would remain with a “foot in a stirrup ready to defend socialism.”

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