HAVANA – The Cuban Communist Party congress that concluded on Tuesday will be “the last directed by the historic generation” of the 1959 revolution, President Raul Castro said.
“The historic generation will hand over the banners of the revolution and socialism to the new leaders without the slightest sadness or pessimism, with the pride of having completed their task,” he said.
Raul, 84, took the reins from ailing older brother Fidel Castro in 2006 and was formally proclaimed as president in 2008. He succeeded his sibling as first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party in 2011.
Regarding the reforms he is counting on to modernize Cuba’s socialist economic model, Raul Castro said the pace of change will be determined by consensus, “without haste, much less improvisations that will lead only to failure.”
The 7th party congress concluded with the announcement of the makeup of the various leadership bodies and the choices were consistent with the goal of completing a generational transition at the next congress, tentatively scheduled for 2021.
Delegates approved Raul Castro’s proposal to phase-in maximum age limits for membership of the Communist Party’s executive bodies.
Starting with the 8th congress, members of the Central Committee will have to be 60 or younger, while no one older than 70 will be allowed to serve on the Secretariat and the Politburo.
The median age of the 154 current members of the Central Committee is 54.