The 86-year-old has reportedly been grooming his Vice President, 57-year-old Miguel Diaz-Canel, to take his place.
One family’s dominance of Cuban politics since the 1959 communist revolution is coming to an end this week.
President Raul Castro, 86, will be handing over power for the first time in six decades to a Cuban who does not carry his last name.
A successor to President Raul Castro will be chosen on Wednesday.
Al Jazeera’s Latin America editor Lucia Newman reports from Havana, Cuba.