A new president of Cuba ends the Castro era after 60 years of government[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]Editorial Date: 2018/4/19 8:24[/rtl] • [rtl]92 times scheduled[/rtl][/ltr]
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The Cuban parliament has chosen Miguel Diaz-Canel, the right-hand man of current President Raul Castro, as the only candidate to head the country, ending the rule of the Castro family.
Raul took over as president in 2006 after his elder brother Fidel Castro, who died at the age of 90 in November 2016, took power in 1959.
This comes at a time when Cuba has been in strained relations with the United States since the arrival of President Donald Trump to power, after an improvement during the era of former President Barack Obama.
He is expected to remain strongly influential in the communist state's system of government even after leaving office.
The Cuban National Assembly voted in favor of Miguel Diaz, 57, but the official results will be announced today as the official transfer of power is scheduled.
Castro will remain president of the Communist Party until the party convention in 2021.
The next president will inherit a country with an economic recession and a large percentage of young people who aspire to change.
The expected president will face another obstacle: the difficulty of ruling Cuba without the revolutionary background that was embodied by the leader Fidel and his brother Raul.
Miguel Diaz-Canel was not a well-known figure when he was elected Vice-President of the Council of State in Cuba in 2013, but he became Castro's most important ally and aide. In the past five years he was preparing for the presidency and taking power, and even before he was named first vice president, A long political process.
He was born in April 1960, after Fidel Castro had his communist revolution and assumed the post of prime minister.
He studied electrical engineering and began his political career in his early twenties as a member of the Communist Youth League of Santa Clara.
While working as a teacher of engineering at a local university, he was able to rise up in the Communist Party, especially in the Youth League, and became its second secretary at the age of 33.
President Raul Castro praised his "ideological steadfastness".
Miguel Diaz, a break from the past, is not even born when the communist revolution came after she managed to power.
Still, it is an extension of Castro's model, especially politically.
Grant adds that the message of political continuity confirmed by the Cuban government from the moment the announcement of the handover of power lost much sense of renewal.
Raul kept at least two of his closest men, in his late 80s, in the State Council.
The economy will be the biggest challenge for the next president in the near term, he must quickly address the complicated dual currency system while ensuring that inflation rates do not rise for the average citizen.
He must also try to stimulate the stagnant economy, and do all this without the same popular support as Castro.
Miguel is unlikely to make major changes in the short term, especially since Castro remains a significant political force.
The changes are expected to be gradual and slow, but Castro introduced reforms after he took office, most notably the melting of the ice in relations with the United States, which was not expected under his brother Fidel.
The next president will be required to deal with the economic problems caused by the economic collapse of his ally Venezuela, as well as find a formula for the relationship with the United States under Trump.
Last year, Trump imposed many travel and trade restrictions on Cuba after Obama eased it.
But the greatest concern of the Cuban people will be the extent to which the new leader can improve their daily lives, and this will be the main factor in their rule.
"At the moment we do not know what the future holds," Adriana Valdivia, 45, a school in Havana, told Reuters.
"Raul has finished, and Fidel has become a history, I can not see a way out to help Cubans live better, salaries are the same and expenses are not enough, and now Trump is tightening the siege, imagine that."
"Politics is not important to me, but I do not think changing the president will change my life," said Didine Sanabria, 34, who works in a state-owned restaurant in the Cuban capital.
The National Assembly of Cuba is often seen as merely a body that acts as seal to sign only papers and formally meets for the swearing-in ceremony of its 605 members, who were elected last month.
Its members also vote for the formation of the powerful State Council, whose president is both head of state and government.
As long as Cuba maintains one of the most comprehensive and impartial electoral systems in the world, critics say the assertion is laughable, as the ruling Communist Party oversees the process fully.
No one ran against the current members of the assembly in the March election.