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HAVANA — Raul Castro was named first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party on Tuesday, with his aging brother Fidel not included in the leadership for the first time since the party's creation 46 years ago.
Despite raising hopes during the gathering that a new generation of leaders was poised to take up important positions, Raul announced that Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, an 80-year-old longtime confidante, would be his No. 2.
Ramiro Valdes, a 78-year-old vice president, was named to the No. 3 spot. Several younger people were added to the 15-member leadership group, but in lesser positions.
Fidel Castro, 84, made a surprise appearance at the gathering, receiving thunderous applause from the 1,000 delegates assembled in a vast convention center in the capital, Havana.
Many could be seen crying as he was helped to his place on stage by a young aide, then stood at attention next to his brother during the playing of Cuba's national anthem.