Castro had long planned to step down in 2021

Raul Castro

In 2016, Raul Castro said he would step down in five years but in a country that's been led by the same family for six decades, that certainly wasn't take for granted.

Just now through the 89-year-old confirmed that he will step down as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in a speech at the party congress.

That will pave the way for a new generation of leadership -- none of who participated in the revolution -- to lead the country. The transition will take place this weekend and is likely to put 60-year-old Miguel Díaz-Canel in charge.


The transition is an opening for softening relations between the US and Cuba. Biden has signaled he wants to thaw the relationship after Trump reversed Obama-era reforms.

The Florida now appears to be a solidly Republican state may open a window to end the US embargo. Cuba implemented some reforms last year to allow people to operate small businesses. It's also loosening controls in state-run firms.

Close watchers of the relationship say the US isn't considering a genuine normalization and that it's not politically possible but at some point the US loosen its strangehold on Cuba and that will be one of the greatest investing opportunities in a generation.