Fidel Castro has formally taken a bow out of Cuban politics before an emotional gathering of the country’s Communist Party.
The party congress is supposed to be held every five years.
Many in the hall felt it was a farewell appearance for the 84-year-old who led the country for nearly half a century after its revolution.
Castro had already relinquished his top positions in the party. Now he made it known he did not want any more posts.
His younger brother Raul has taken over as the party’s first secretary just as he succeeded to the presidency after Fidel’s grave illness.
The changes made at the congress still left two old men in the senior jobs, even though many in Cuba had hoped younger blood would have been introduced.
There were major economic and social changes too, aimed at keeping Cuba’s debt-burden in check.
The food ration will be slashed and private enterprise will play a greater role.
But Raul Castro promised the country would remain socialist.