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Bureaucrat Set to Replace Raul Castro as Cuba’s President

The official announcement nearly six decades in the making is expected Thursday morning as Miguel Diaz-Canel will be named the next president of Cuba — the first person not named Castro to hold that title since 1959.Diaz-Canel is the country’s first vice president and a long-time protégé of Raul Castro, the leader of the communist nation since 2008, when he took over from the longtime leader, his brother Fidel. The 57-year-old was hand picked in an effort to ensure the continuation of one of the globe’s last surviving communist states.

The presidential result is essentially clear since Cuba’s national assembly approves all executive branch proposals by margins of 95 percent or higher.Diaz-Canel is known to Cubans in the central province of Villa Clara as a modest-living, hard-working member of the party that has been in control for generations.

“They’ve put in a nondescript civilian who doesn’t belong to the military which is very important and doesn’t have any control over any of the businesses,” said Jim Cason, a former U.S. diplomat to Cuba.

“He’s an apparatchik so I think it’s a succession.”

Raul Castro will still be the most powerful person in Cuba for the time being as he will continue to be the leader of the Communist Party on the island. UN Security Council Heads to Retreat at Odds Over Syria “You can look at it as a generational transition, but it’s not a real transition to something new and different in Cuba,” Cason said.Some of the issues Diaz-Canel will face include a stagnant economy at home, with growing disenchantment on the island with slow market reforms Castro introduced in 2011.The country is also receiving fewer dollars from American tourists, as President Donald Trump has reinforced some restrictions eased under the administration of former President Barack Obama.Photo Credit: Getty Images
Source: NBC San Diego

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