Raul Castro says he'll retire by 2018


Cuban President Raul Castro said that he would leave power in 2018, just hours after he was sworn in for his second term.


Adalberto Roque

Cuban President Raul Castro said that he would leave power in 2018, when his second term is finished.

"I would like to make clear ... this will be my last term," he said during a televised speech, reported CNN.

GlobalPost had previously written that Castro had hinted at retirement just days earlier.

Raul Castro took the reins of the presidency of Cuba in 2006.

His brother, Fidel Castro, has been in ailing health for nearly a decade.

Raul Castro was officially elected president in 2008 at 76 years-old.

His words on retirement came just hours after he was granted another five-year term by the National Assembly.

The legislature also made Miguel Diaz-Canel the country's first vice president Sunday.

Diaz-Canel is an engineer in his early 50s that has also served as minister of higher education, said CNN.

It seems likely that Diaz-Canel would replace Castro as Cuba's leader.

USA Today pointed out that he has risen higher than anyone who did not participate directly in the 1959 revolution.

"It represents a definitive step in the configuration of the future leadership of the nation through the gradual transfer ... of key roles to new generations," said Castro, reported USA Today.