Cuba's president Raul Castro says he will retire in 5 years

Feb 25 2013, 10:51 IST
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SummaryRaul Castro for the first time put a date on the end of the Fidel Castro era.

education, might be in line for a senior post have grown.

In recent weeks, he has frequently been featured on state television news broadcasts in an apparent attempt to raise his profile.

He also traveled to Venezuela in January for the symbolic inauguration of Hugo Chavez, a key Cuban ally who had been re-elected president but was too ill to be sworn in.

The 612 lawmakers sworn in Sunday also named Esteban Lazo as the National Assembly\'s first new chief in 20 years, replacing Ricardo Alarcon.

Lazo, who turns 69 on Tuesday, is a vice president and member of the Communist Party\'s ruling political bureau. Parliament meets only twice a year and generally passes legislation unanimously without visible debate.

The legislature also named as vice presidents of the ruling Council Machado Ventura; comptroller general Gladys Bejerano; second Vice President Ramiro Valdes; Havana Communist Party secretary Lazara Mercedes Lopez Acea; and Salvador Valdes Mesa, head of Cuba\'s labor union.

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