Miguel Diaz-Canel is the New President of Cuba

By Guillermo Nova  (dpa)

Miguel Diaz Canel. Photo: bohemia.cu

HAVANA TIMES – The National Candidacy Commission today proposed to the Cuban Parliament the designation of Miguel Diaz-Canel as the only candidate to be the next president of Cuba, replacing Raul Castro.

The 605 National Assembly deputies, elected without opposition on March 11, voted today for the new president of the country and five vice presidents. The results of the vote, expected to be unanimous, will be announced on Thursday.

Salvador Valdes Mesa, 72, a former secretary of the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba, the only permitted labor organization, and a former Minister of Labor, was proposed as the new first vice president. Until now, he was one of the vice presidents of the Government.

Although the announcement of the only candidacy was made Wednesday to the 605 deputies, the result of their vote will be made public this Thursday, according to the official legislative program.

The other proposed vice-presidents are the historic Commander of the Revolution, Ramiro Valdés; the Minister of Public Health, Roberto Morales; the Comptroller General, Gladys Bejerano; the president of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, Inés María Chapman; and Beatriz Jhonson.

The parliamentary session today began its two-day meeting with the election of the leadership of the National Assembly, which maintained continuity with the reelection of Esteban Lazo as president and Ana María Mari Machado and Miriam Brito as vice president and secretary, respectively .

Raul Castro appeared dressed in a jacket and tie, without his traditional military dress as head of the Army, accompanied by members of his Government and applauded by the rest of the deputies.

The 605 deputies today vote on the proposal of the National Candidates Commission but the results will be released on Thursday, although no changes are expected.

Díaz-Canel is a 57-year-old engineer who was previously Minister of Higher Education and headed the Communist Party of Cuba in the central province of Villa Clara and eastern Holguin.

The arrival to the presidency of Miguel Díaz-Canel represents the generational change that Raul Castro has been preparing during the last years giving responsibilities to leaders born after the 1959 revolutionary triumph.

The average age of the National Assembly is 49 years and 87 percent of the deputies were born after 1959, according to official data from Parliament.

Politicians such as the economic vice president Marino Murillo, 57, the communist leader Mercedes López Acea, 53, the Minister of Public Health, Roberto Morales, 50, or Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, 60, already occupy prominent positions.

Raul Castro, 86, will leave the Presidency but will remain at the head of the powerful Communist Party of Cuba until 2021, when the it holds its next congress.

11 thoughts on “Miguel Diaz-Canel is the New President of Cuba

  • Can you Thomas Answeeny relate any changes that have occurred for the people of Cuba within the last six years, other than being allowed to purchase a car?
    As an illustration of the benefits, Multimarcas the State agency offered a 2014 model Kia Picanto for 68,000 Cuban convertible pesos ($68,000 US). you may know that the average Cuban earns $21 per month.
    Communists habitually refer to those who favour freedom of the individual as “reactionaries”. I don’t doubt that in your case Moses will take it as a compliment.

  • I am of the same generation Margaret and have stated many times in these pages and in writing my view that the 1958/59 revolution was necessary.
    The introduction to my book about Cuba says:

    “The author believes that another Cuban revolution (there have been previous ones) was almost inevitable and necessary during the 1950’s in Cuba which was then controlled by the Batista dictatorship which had achieved power in a coup and operated in cahoots with the US Mafia under the leadership in Havana of Meyer Lansky. It is his view that had Fidel Castro remained true to his supposedly original view – in 1952 he was a candidate for the Orthodox party until the election was cancelled by Batista if he had in 1959 following a period of military rule necessary to establish stable administration, law and order, held free open elections, the Cuba of today would be very different and Fidel Castro like Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela would have earned a similarly honoured place in world history for freeing his people and introducing real democracy. But Fidel Castro in his craving for control and personal power chose otherwise, he chose communism and dictatorship.”

    I don’t know whether you have read the US Cuban Democracy Act. But although i have expressed the view that the ensuing embargo became counter-productive, the expressed purposes of the Act were in themselves excellent. and aimed at supporting the Cuban people. However the history of the US as a neighbour in the Americas is not good. My chapter on the USA commences:

    US policies towards the Latin American countries have been a succession of political blunders of magnitude since the adoption of the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.”

    In these pages there has been discussion about the problems that might occur if and when Cuba achieves freedom and adopts real democracy. Those fears have been based upon the assumption that Cuba would necessarily adopt the US system. There are fortunately however other alternatives such as parliamentary government. Let the US sort out its own problems which in my view would mean a revision of their constitution.

    I care about Cuba Margaret because my home is there, I am married to a Cuban. The unfortunate consequence of that necessary revolution was that Cuba merely had one dictator replaced by another.

  • if Nick you regard fascism as “of the right”, then you should understand Moses’ comment. If that is correct, then moving towards fascism would include democratic socialism, liberals, progressive conservatives and conservatives and even reformers. It may well be from your writings that you dislike all of them compared with communism.
    Moses did not say adopt fascism. Politics makes strange bedfellows. Hitler and Stalin a communist made a pact to invade Poland and both did so. Hitler as a National Socialist accepted the overtures of Mussollini a fascist and supported Franco another fascist – Guernica!
    I have yet to see you write here that you oppose dictatorship whether of the left or of the right. I have stated several times that I detest both. So get off the high horse Nick and state your view of dictatorship.

  • Maybe Cuban elections should be more like u.s. elections. Eh? Well, everyone here in the u.s. knows their vote does not count because u.s. corporations pick the freakin’ president, not the American people. And u.s. corporations are drowning the island of Cuba along with most of the world.

  • Moses’ reactionary and contradictory comments on HT date back at least six years. Pay him no mind

  • Dumb comments ??
    Then you say ‘To move forward fascism would be an improvement’……
    Talk about dumb comments !

  • Cuba’s electoral farce is based on the Russian model. There would be no need for the Russians to interfere in Cuba. The results are pre-determined. Dumb comment. Likewise, Diaz-Canel is the new President of a totalitarian regime. To move toward fascism would be an improvement. Again, dumb comment.

  • Mr P, I detect a hint in your comment that you suspect Cuba’s electoral process may be democratically imperfect……..
    Perhaps you have a good point.
    But at least Cuba’s election result was not manipulated by the Russians. Furthermore It would be most unlikely that Cuba’s new president decides to start promoting fascism in the way that the current US President has.

  • I would like to wish Cuba’s new president the very best of luck.
    Perhaps he will make some pragmatic moves toward economic reform.
    Whatever happens it would be virtually impossible for him to be the least suitable president in The Americas.

  • I am 81+ years. I worked in an Art Department in Dallas, TX in the 1950’s. When the Cuban Revolution happened, most of the artists stood up and cheered! They, mostly, had been to Cuba – on vacation/honeymoons – and realized how the lure of off-shore casinos were NOT benefitting the Cuban population … I have always been saddened by the non-support of the USA of Cuba and the Cuban people.

  • This is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Fake elections don’t produce real democratic results.

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