>> Thursday will mark the end of an era in Cuban politics. For the first time in nearly 60 years, someone not named Castro will be in power in Cuba. And on top of that, none of the former fighters from the 1959 Leftist revolution. Are expected to be a part of the Communist island's next government.
Reuters' Sarah Marsh is in Havana.>> Raul Castro, who together with his brother Fidel Castro, led the uprising that overthrew a US backed dictator. Has said he will step down as President. The man to succeed him is Miguel Díaz-Canel, who was born the year after the revolution. Even so, veteran former rebels say that they want to keep the flame alive.
Teaching about the revolution's achievements, such as universal education and healthcare coverage. To younger generations, they're often more preoccupied with its failings.>> Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 and ruled for decades, at times as the Prime Minister, and others as President. His alliance with the Soviet Union propelled Cuba toward communism, putting it at the center of the Cold War.
In 2008, Fidel handed over power to his younger brother, Raul. Now, as power changes hands again, the ex-rebels are trying to remind their fellow Cubans about what life was like before Castro. 85 year old former rebel Nelson Alvarez, for example. Who lives in the foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains, where the rebels had their stronghold.
Says he remembers the grim times before the revolution. He had to drop out of school aged 13 in order to help feed his family. And he recalls that one of his sisters died, aged 18, because there wasn't a doctor in the village to attend her. He says that all four of his children were able to attend university, thanks to the revolution.
Which also brought modern amenities to his village, such as running water and electricity.>> Now the focus shifts to 57 year old, Miguel Díaz-Canel, Raul Castro's hand picked successor. Díaz-Canel faces a number of immediate challenges. Including a weak economy and an increasingly tense relationship with the United States.