Cuba gets new leader as last Castro retires

Leticia PINEDA

Cuba marked the end of an era Monday with the transfer of power from the Castro clan, in charge for six decades, to the communist country’s first-ever civilian leader in Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The transition, while hugely symbolic, is unlikely to result in dramatic policy shifts in the one-party system Diaz-Canel, 60, has vowed to safeguard.

“The most revolutionary thing within the Revolution is to always defend the party, in the same way that the party should be the greatest defender of the Revolution,” he said on Monday.

Already Cuba’s president since 2018, Diaz-Canel has now also taken the all-powerful position of first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) as Raul Castro, 89, entered retirement.

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