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Raul Castro leaves office with a controversial legacy

Army General Raul Castro left the post of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), leaving a controversial national and universal history legacy. For the first time in more than five decades, the move means that the party – which has ruled the island since the party’s formation in 1965 – is not led by either Raúl Castro or his late brother, Fidel.
He leaves office amid an economic crisis that has caused shortages of even essential goods and is threatening the universal access to quality healthcare and education hailed by supporters of Cuban socialism as among the most significant achievements of the revolution.
For his loyal followers, Raul, 89, built the military into a formidable fighting force that saw off enemies, including a US-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs. In his supportive role to his brother and carrying out that role brilliantly, Raul eventually had to take on Fidel’s leadership himself at a time when the revolution showed every sign of faltering.
For his enemies, and from the early years of Cuba’s one-party system, he was known as an iron-fisted ideologue involved in the summary trials and executions of Batista supporters and later the imprisonment of thousands of political prisoners.
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