Fidel Castro bids Communist Party farewell

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, clad in a blue track jacket, with his brother, Cuban President Raul Castro, at the close of the VII Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana on Tuesday. Dr Castro, 89, bade farewell to the Communist Party, telling pa
PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, clad in a blue track jacket, with his brother, Cuban President Raul Castro, at the close of the VII Cuban Communist Party Congress in Havana on Tuesday.

Dr Castro, 89, bade farewell to the Communist Party, telling party members that he would die soon and urging them to fulfil his communist vision.

Speaking in a strong but rasping voice, he said: "Soon, I will be 90." His birthday is on Aug 13. "Our turn comes to us all," added Dr Castro, who made his longest public address in years, "but the ideas of Cuban communism will endure."

While he seemed to take his leave, others in his cohort signalled their intentions to stay put, reported the New York Times.

The party announced that President Raul Castro, 84, and his hardline second-in-command, Mr Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 85, would continue to lead it.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2016, with the headline 'Fidel Castro bids Communist Party farewell'. Print Edition | Subscribe