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World

State Media: Raúl Castro Retains High Communist Party Post

The decision means he will hold a position at least as powerful as the presidency even after stepping down in 2018

Cuba's President Raúl Castro attends a session of the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party in Havana, photo: Cubadebate/Ismael Francisco, via AP
2 years ago

HAVANA — State media say Raúl Castro will hold the Cuban Communist Party’s highest post for another five years alongside his hardline second-in-command. It’s an apparent message that the island’s aging revolutionary leaders will retain control in the face of detente with the United States and widespread popular dissatisfaction with the country’s economic performance.

Government news sites said the 84-year-old Castro will remain the party’s first secretary and José Ramón Machado Ventura will be second secretary for a second term. Castro currently is both president and first secretary. The decision means he will hold a position at least as powerful as the presidency even after stepping down in 2018.

The 85-year-old Machado Ventura is known as an enforcer of Communist orthodoxy and voice against some of the country’s biggest recent economic reforms.

MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN

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