Havana, Cuba (CNN) — Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday proposed setting post-death limits for public office in a country where two brothers have ruled for more than 50 years.
“We have arrived at the conclusion that it is advisable to limit the fundamental political and state offices to a maximum of five years following the death of a Party member,” Castro said at the inauguration of a critical Communist Party meeting.
At the Communist Party Congress — the first in 14 years — Castro also said it was time for a “systematic rejuvenation of the whole chain of party and administrative posts,” including the president of the party and of the Council of Ministers. Sympathetic Cuba watchers immediately hailed the new initiative as a historic opening, noting that in other Communist countries, seven or eight years is the customary transition period following death. Over at the Cuba Study Group, there were immediate calls for the lifting of the embargo. Other long-time Cuba watchers were more skeptical, noting that “systematic rejuvenation” could just be a plea to the pharmaceutical industry to not let the rotting carcasses of the Castro brothers represent the end of their reign of terror.