born 3 June 1931 is a Cuban politician and leader who is currently serving as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the socialist state, succeeding his brother Fidel Castro in April 2011. He has also been a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba, the highest decision-making body since 1975. In February 2008, he was appointed the President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers. He stepped down as President on 19 April 2018.
Previous to being appointed acting President of Cuba in July 2006, he served as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces from 1959 to 2008. His ministerial tenure made him the longest serving minister of the armed forces. Because of his predecessor's illness, Castro was designated the President of the Council of State in a temporary transfer of power. Castro was officially made President by the National Assembly on 24 February 2008, after Fidel Castro, who was still ailing, announced on 19 February 2008 that he would not stand for President again.
Castro was re-elected President on 24 February 2013. Shortly thereafter, Castro announced that his second term would be his final term, and that he would not seek re-election in 2018. He announced on state television on 21 December 2017 that he would step down as Cuban president on 19 April 2018 after his successor is elected by the National Assembly following parliamentary elections. However, he retains his position as First Secretary of the Communist Party, Cuba's ruling party, is head of the constitutional reform commission, and also continues to have a seat representing Santiago de Cuba's Segundo Frente municipality in the National Assembly