He assumed the position from his brother, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, in April 2011.
Cuban communists, led by Fidel Castro, seized power in 1959 overthrowing the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Raul Castro was one of the last surviving members of the “historic generation” that carried out the 1959 revolution.
He will formally stand down the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) which is taking place in Havana.
As his brother’s health faded Raul Castro took over first as president, then as chief of the Cuban communist party.
He previously led the Cuban army after leading bands of guerrilla fighters.
Fidel Castro died in November 2016 aged 90.
Miguel Diaz-Canel, who replaced Raul Castro in 2018 as president, is expected to take over as communist party chief.
In Cuba the presidency and communist party leadership are the two most important positions, with the latter marginally more powerful.
More to follow…