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Cuba’s Castros are clearly robust, Raul quips after 85th birthday

Cuba’s Castros are clearly robust, Raul quips after 85th birthday
June 4, 2016

HAVANA (Reuters) – The day after his 85th birthday, Cuba’s
quipped that the Castros were clearly “robust and
long-lived” and he could easily manage several more five-year terms
although he would stick to his promise to step down in 2018.

Castro took the presidency over a decade ago from his older brother
Fidel, who by then was already one of the world’s longest-serving
leaders, having taken power in a 1959 uprising that ousted a U.S.-backed

“The Castros are robust and long-lived. I turned 85 on Friday which
proves this and could manage several more five-year terms,” Raul said in
the opening speech of a summit of Caribbean countries in Havana,
sparking laughter among attendees that included ’s embattled
president, Nicolas Maduro.

“But as I have already said on different occasions… I will leave the
presidency on the 24th of February, 2018.”

Fidel, who claims he has survived more than 600 attempts on his life
mainly masterminded by the United States, will turn 90 this year and
shocked some Cubans at the Communist Party Congress in April by musing
about death.

“Soon I will be 90 years old,” he said. “Soon I will be like all the
rest. Everybody’s turn comes.”

In view of the advanced age of many of Cuba’s leaders, Raul proposed an
age limit of 70 for top Communist Party officials ahead of the congress,
raising expectations veterans would begin to step aside.

Instead Raul and fellow octogenarian Jose Ramon Machado Ventura were
re-elected as first and second secretaries respectively for further
five-year terms.

This means Raul will remain party chief even after he steps down as
Cuba’s president, unless he resigns from that post.

(Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Nelson Acosta; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

Source: Cuba’s Castros are clearly robust, Raul quips after 85th
birthday –

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