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Cuba's Communist Youth Union Gets New Leader

Cuba's Communist Youth Union has replaced its 41-year-old director and promoted its second-in-command, six years his junior.

Directors of the 600,000-member organization voted by a show of hands to replace first secretary Julio Martinez with Liudmila Alamo, who had been second secretary.

Martinez remains a member of the Council of State, Cuba's supreme governing body, and in the island's rubber-stamp parliament.

Past union leaders include Otto Rivero, who became a vice president, and Carlos Lage, a vice president who was de-facto economic czar. Both were fired in a leadership shake-up in March.

The union is an important recruiting ground for new party members charged with carrying communist ideals into the future.