Cuba's Raul Castro announces retirement in 5 years
HAVANA (AP) - Mr Raul Castro announced on Sunday that he will step down as Cuba's president in 2018, following a final five-year term, for the first time putting a date on the end of the Castro era.
He tapped rising star Miguel Diaz-Canel as his top lieutenant and first in the line of succession.
The 81-year-old also said he hopes to establish two-term limits and age caps for political offices, including the presidency - an astonishing prospect for a nation led by Mr Castro or his older brother Fidel since their 1959 revolution.
Mr Diaz-Canel, 52, is now a heartbeat from the presidency and has risen higher than any other Cuban official who did not directly participate in the heady days of the revolution.