Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (born 3 June 1931) is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who has been President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008; he previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008. Raúl Castro was a rebel commander during the 1950s; after his older brother, Fidel Castro, took power, Raúl Castro was one of the most important figures in the new regime, serving as Minister of the Armed Forces from 1959 to 2008. As President, he is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force) and has also been First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) since 2011.
On 31 July 2006, Raúl Castro was designated as the President of the Council of State in a temporary transfer of power due to Fidel Castro's illness. According to the Cuban Constitution of 1976, Article 94, the First Vice President of the Council of State assumes presidential duties upon the illness or death of the president.
Raúl Castro was officially elected as President by the National Assembly on 24 February 2008, after Fidel Castro, who was still ailing, announced his intention not to stand for President again on 19 February 2008.