Cuba’s new president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, began his term on Thursday with a promise to defend the socialist revolution led by the Castro brothers since 1959, giving a strident speech that also emphasized the need to modernize the island’s economy.
Cuban Communist Party stalwart Miguel Diaz-Canel replaced Raul Castro as president on Thursday, a new chapter for the island after nearly sixty years of rule by the Castro brothers but a change that is aimed at preserving Cuban socialism.
Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected to succeed Raul Castro as Cuba’s new president at a plenary session of the National Assembly on Thursday.
The 57-year-old is a member of the Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and held the chair of the first secretary of the PCC in the provinces of Villa Clara and Holguin.
Raul Castro, the 86-year-old current president of the country, announced last year that he will step down in 2018 due to health issues. For the first time, the island country has a non “Castro” member as the president in nearly 60 years.