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Fidel quits Communist Party leadership as Cuba looks to reform

Fidel quits Communist Party leadership as Cuba looks to reform
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Fidel Castro has stepped down as head of Cuba’s Communist Party.

The move comes as the party holds a key congress to plot the country’s future.

President Raul Castro said he has presented some 300 reforms in an attempt to end Cuba’s economic crisis by correcting past policy mistakes. The reforms aim to boost the Caribbean island’s state-dominated, debt ridden, unproductive economy.

Raul Castro, younger brother of Fidel, took over the presidency in 2008 and plans to reduce the size of the state and expand the private sector while keeping central planning and control. The congress also backed a new two-term limit of 10 years for the country’s future leaders to avoid political inertia.

Fidel Castro ruled the country for nearly 50 years during which time Cuba’s politics stagnated. Most of Cuba’s senior political figures are in their late 70s and early 80s.