Raul Castro Calls for Term Limits in Cuba

Monday, 18 Apr 2011 10:27 AM

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After more than 50 years in power, Cuba’s ruling family has finally come out in favor of term limits.

President Raul Castro announced the stunning about-face at the Cuba, Raul Castro, Fidel Castro, Term Limitsopening of the Sixth Communist Party Congress in Havana at the weekend, the 50th anniversary of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, according to an Associated Press report.

"We have arrived at the conclusion that it is advisable to limit the fundamental political and state offices to a maximum period of two consecutive periods of five years," said Castro, who took over the reins of the Caribbean island from his brother Fidel in 2008. Fidel Castro had been in power since the 1959 revolution, outlasting 10 US presidents.

Raul Castro will be 86 by the time his second five-year term as President runs out in February 2018. He said the move to term limits is necessary to rejuvenate a political system still dominated by aging revolutionaries. "Today we face the consequences of not having a reserve of substitutes ready."

Castro also called for Cubans’ monthly ration books to be eliminated and said the island’s Communist economy needs updating. During his two-and-a-half hour speech the president said the party is studying whether to legalize the buying and selling of homes and cars, saying change will come “without hurry, but without pause.”



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