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article imageCuba's Raul Castro: key dates

By AFP     Apr 16, 2018 in World

Here are key dates in the life of Cuba's outgoing President Raul Castro, the brother and successor of the late revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

- June 3, 1931: Born in Biran, a village in eastern Cuba.

- 1953: Raul is sentenced to 13 years in prison for attacking a military barracks with a group of revolutionaries led by his brother Fidel. He is released two years later as part of an amnesty.

- 1956: Takes part in an expedition led by his brother that leaves from Mexico to wage revolution in Cuba, becoming a military commander the following year.

- 1959: After his brother unseats dictator Fulgencio Batista, Raul is appointed Cuban defense minister, holding the post until 2008.

- 1961: Leads operations against the attempted invasion by US-backed anti-Castro forces in the Bay of Pigs.

- 1976: Officially becomes number two in the government, as first vice-president of the Council of State.

- 1989: Plays the role of "prosecutor" in the trial of General Arnaldo Ochoa, a hero of the Angola war executed after drug trafficking accusations.

- 2006: He is handed power by his sick brother Fidel, taking over officially as president in 2008.

- 2010: Gives the green light for the release of dissident political prisoners, hailed as a breakthrough.

- 2011: Succeeds Fidel as head of the all-powerful Cuban Communist Party.

- 2013: Re-elected for a last presidential term.

- 2014: Announces a historic rapprochement with Washington, 52 years after the US embargo on the island. The two countries re-establish diplomatic ties the following year.

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