The 57-year-old president says the country's leadership can not forget "for a second" its commitment to the people of Cuba.
It was a historic, though understated, handover.
"Here there are no spaces for a transition that does not recognize the legacy of so many years of struggle", said Diaz-Canel in a clear message that he will not get out of line with the one-party system in Cuba. Fidel Castro died in 2016 at age 90. "'There is no room for those who aspire to a capitalist restoration", he said.
"They set the guidelines for the country and Raul Castro is going to remain as head of that old powerful communist party".
Mr Diaz-Canel, a stalwart of the ruling Communist party for more than 30 years, was sworn in by the National Assembly to replace Raul Castro, with the 57-year-old gaining votes from 603 of the 604 lawmakers present. "Cuba needs him, providing ideas and proposals for the revolutionary cause, orienting and alerting us about any error or deficiency, teaching us, and always ready to confront imperialism".
The silver-haired Diaz-Canel - a top Communist Party figure who has served as first vice president since 2013 - assumes power from Raul Castro, who himself took over from his elder brother Fidel, father of the 1959 revolution.
Raul Castro also commented on the halting thaw between Cuba and the United States, saying that Donald Trump's election victory set bilateral ties back again.
But a landmark moment was the agreement with former US President Barack Obama to restore long-severed diplomatic ties and seek an end to decades of hostilities between the two countries.
Castro also gave a vision for Diaz-Canel's future, saying he believed Diaz-Canel would serve two five-year terms as president.
Cuba watchers and domestic analysts say he will favour continuity over change in the early days of his presidency, however.
"He comes from the system, but it is the rigidity of the system which is the biggest obstacle to pushing forward with the necessary political and economic changes", said Michael Shifter, head of Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.
The top-seeded Rockets had their hands full with the No. 8 Timberwolves on a night where Houston made just 10 of 37 3-pointers. Chris Paul added two free throws after that for Houston, but a tip-in by Karl-Anthony Towns got Minnesota back within 3.
Armenians voted for a more accountable political system, but the ex-president's job switch is evoking the specter of one-man rule. Activists opposed to Serzh Sargsyan as prime minister have been marching through Vanadzor, Armenia's third largest city.
After shooting 34.1 percent from behind the arc as a rookie, an average mark, he improved to 39.5 percent this season. Morris also hit 1 of 2 from the line for the Celtics, and Antetokounmpo knocked down a pair for a 12-point gap.
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Veteran Amir Johnson will likely start in place of the injured Embiid in Game 1 of the Sixers' first-round playoff series. Oh wait, the Sixers actually DID blow out the Miami Heat? 42 games worth, where he's also started in 24 playoff games.
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The Eagles will host the Falcons for their season opener on September 6, Philly.com reported, citing an unidentified source. It will be an afternoon game in London, making for a 9:30 a.m. kickoff in the Eastern time zone.
De Bruyne has scored 11 and assisted 19 in all competitions, while Silva has managed nine goals and 13 assists. The three man midfield has David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne (Mancity) joined by Christian Eriksen (Tottenham).
Don't underestimate the power of her message or the example she set by doing something that was so controversial at the time. In 2013, she attended the same-sex wedding in Kennebunkport, Maine, of her friends Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen.
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