Cuba's president Raul Castro says he will retire in 5 years
Still, the country remains ruled by the Communist Party and any opposition to it lacks legal recognition.
Castro has mentioned term limits before, but he has never said specifically when he would step down, and the concept has yet to be codified into Cuban law.
If he keeps his word, Castro will leave office no later than 2018. Cuban-American exiles in the United States have waited decades for the end of the Castro era, although they will likely be dismayed if it ends on the brothers\' terms.
Nevertheless, the promise of a change at the top could have deep significance for U.S.-Cuba ties. The wording of Washington\'s 51-year economic embargo on the island specifies that it cannot be lifted while a Castro is in charge.
When Raul Castro hinted at his retirement plans on Friday, it earned a sharp response from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American Republican from Florida, who called it a ploy.
"If dictator Raul Castro states that he will retire in five years, there will still be no real change for the Cuban people so long as the Castro brothers remain in any form of leadership position, even behind the scenes,\'\' she said. "The U.S. should not change its policy of isolation of the Cuban regime.\'\'
Fidel Castro is 86 and retired, and has appeared increasingly frail in recent months. He made a surprise appearance at Sunday\'s gathering, receiving a thunderous ovation from
Be the first to comment.