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As Fidel Castro steps down, a political shakeup in Cuba?

Delegates since Saturday have debated more than 300 proposals to overhaul the struggling economy. Details on who will fill leadership roles are expected to emerge later today.

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro talks with former US President Jimmy Carter during a meeting in Havana on March 30.

Alex Castro/Courtesy of Cubadebate/Reuters

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Cubans could face an economic and political shakeup today, when details of reforms passed at the Sixth Party Congress are released at the close of the summit.

Delegates since Saturday have debated more than 300 proposals to overhaul the struggling economy. They're also set to approve new party leadership – posts that have been held by former president Fidel Castro and his younger brother President Raúl Castro since they were created.

The Congress was the first in 14 years, and it has underlined profound changes embraced by Raúl Castro, who officially took over Cuba’s presidency in 2008, after 49 years of continuous rule by Fidel Castro. At its start, Raúl Castro proposed term limits for leaders and emphasized the need to groom a younger generation to continue on the path of socialism.

“It begins to show people that Cuba is going to be very different under Raúl than Fidel,” says Andy Gomez, senior fellow at the Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.

President Raúl Castro is widely expected to take over the party leadership from his brother, who wrote in a column dated Monday that he is stepping down.

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