Dec 21, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Raul Castro stepping down as Cuba's president in April

Cuba's President Raul Castro, center. Photo: Ramon Espinosa / AP

Raul Castro will be stepping down as Cuba's president in April, 2018 according to Cuban government officials, ABC News reports. Castro has been serving since 2006 when his brother, Fidel Castro, encountered health issues. Castro announced in 2013 this would be the last term as president, but this extends the expected timeline by 2 months.

Why it matters: It will be the first time Cuba hasn't been led by a Castro in approximately 60 years, which could mean a further opening with the U.S. — one of the requirements in the Libertad Act of 1996 for a transition government government "not include Fidel Castro or Raul Castro." Although Obama reopened relations with Cuba, Trump has rolled back much of that détente.

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