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Raul Castro to step down as Cuba’s president in April 2018

HAVANA: Cuban President Raul Castro will step down in April 2018 straight after his successor is chosen by a top governing council, according to a vote Thursday in the island state's National Assembly. The decision means Castro, 86, will stay on two months longer than previously anticipated. He was to have stepped down in February under a system tied to the Communist-ruled country's electoral calendar. But polls have been pushed back because of a damaging hurricane that hit the island in September. Cuba's president…

Cubans pay tribute to ‘Che’ on 50th anniversary of his death

SANTA CLARA, CUBA: Tens of thousands of Cubans turned out on Sunday to pay tribute to Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary and guerrilla leader, on the 50th anniversary of his death. An estimated 70,000 people thronged the streets outside a mausoleum in this town 300 kilometers (186 miles) east of the capital Havana which houses the remains of Guevara and of some of his former comrades. President Raul Castro, dressed in his general's uniform, was among those attending the ceremony in Santa…

Raul Castro warns of “a setback” in US-Cuba relations

HAVANA: Cuban President Raul Castro on Friday said that Donald Trump's hardline stance towards the country marks "a setback" in relations with the United States after ties were gradually restored in 2015. "The announcements made by the current president... mean a setback in bilateral relations," Castro said in remarks, broadcast on state television, at the closing of the first session of Cuba's Parliament. Castro criticized Trump's partial rollback of his predecessor Barack Obama's rapprochement with the communist island…

Cuba’s Raul Castro vows to defend brother Fidel’s legacy in final tribute

SANTIAGO, CUBA: President Raul Castro led tens of thousands of Cubans on Saturday in a pledge to defend the socialist legacy of his brother Fidel Castro, who died last week aged 90 and will be interred in the city where they launched the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro's image will not be immortalized with statues nor will public places be named after him, Raul Castro said, in keeping with his older brother's wishes. "This is the unconquered Fidel who calls us with his example," the president, dressed in his four-star…

Cubans to throng Revolution Square in mourning for Fidel Castro

HAVANA: Cubans will begin massing on Havana's Revolution Square from Monday for a week-long commemoration of Fidel Castro, the communist guerrilla leader who led a revolution in 1959 and ruled the Caribbean island for half a century. Castro died on Friday at the age of 90, a decade after stepping down due to poor health and ceding power to his brother Raul Castro. Castro was cremated on Saturday and his ashes will be carried in a cortege to a final resting place in Santiago de Cuba, the city in eastern Cuba where he…