CUBA: Assembly Appoints Miguel Diaz-Canel To The Presidency

20 April, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Diaz-Canel sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro

It's unclear the path Diaz-Canel will take as a leader.

A vote was not done by the Cuban people, but instead, a secret vote was held by the Cuba National Assembly, Wednesday, which ended the 60-year Castro family reign.

"Today, the Cuban regime has named a new puppet", Diaz-Balart said.

Castro will continue to serve as head of the Communist Party, and previous year traced out a roadmap of party-approved "guidelines" to implement the political and economic reforms he has initiated.

The 605 deputies selected a new 31-member Council of State and its new president from among names proposed by a commission. They are Salvador Valdes Mesa, Ramiro Valdes Menendez and Gladys Maria Bejerano Portela.

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"We're building a relationship between the government and the people here", he said then after casting a ballot for members of the National Assembly.

Miguel Diaz-Canel was proposed in Cuba's parliament on Wednesday as the sole candidate to replace Raul Castro as president, which will make him the island's first non-Castro leader since the 1959 revolution.

The nomination must be now approved by the 604 delegates attending the National Assembly, which always approves nominations with total or near-total unanimity.

He is still from within the system, handpicked by the outgoing 86-year old President Raoul Castro, who will remain head of Cuba's communist party. Cuban media says the country's new president will be published Thursday.

After Fidel Castro's death in 2016, Raul's departure from office draws the curtain on almost 60 years of Castro rule. In fact, the National Assembly has asked Cubans to comment on social media under #SomosContinuidad (We are continuity). It's an apparent effort to convey the message that the Cubans shouldn't expect radical change when a new president is announced on Thursday. He's unlikely to break dramatically with the country's communist leadership. Few Cubans use Twitter and the vast majority of the country relies on TV for news. Fidel Castro died in 2016 aged 90.

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During his time in power, Raul Castro allowed for a small private sector to start in Cuba and also reopened diplomatic relations with the United States, which had attempted to topple his brother's government a number of times.

Cuba's presidential designate Miguel Diaz-Canel is an enigma.

She said Raul Castro will continue to call all the shots.

Two years after taking over from his ailing brother in 2006, Castro launched a series of reforms that expanded Cuba's private sector to almost 600,000 people and allowed citizens greater freedom to travel and access to information.

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