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Castro's brother tabbed as Cuban leader

Feb. 24, 2008 at 4:23 PM

HAVANA, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Fidel Castro will be succeeded by his brother Raul as president of Cuba, the communist Caribbean country's lawmakers decided Sunday.

The Cuban National Assembly voted to have Raul Castro serve as the head of the island nation's governing authority, the Council of State, marking the official end of his older brother's five decade-long tenure as president, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The 76-year-old had already been serving as interim president since Fidel Castro became ill in mid-2006 and his transition to a permanent position had been expected, the Tribune said.

Fidel officially resigned his post last Tuesday at the age of 81, but will continue to serve as the head of the Communist Party in Cuba.

Fidel and Raul served alongside one another during the historical Cuban Revolution in 1959, in which General Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by Cuban revolutionaries.

The Tribune said Raul has been labeled as a practical politician who has hinted toward major economic changes in Cuba, but did not implement any changes as interim leader.

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