Monday, 20 August, 2018

Raul Castro's Reign Is About to End...Or Is It?

From left Const. Brad Maxner of the Cape Breton Regional Police with children Zoey 11 Avery 9 and wife Lindsey. The police officer has been in the intensive care unit of a Havana Cuba hospital recovering from a head injury after a fall at a resort Diaz-Canel sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro
Glenn Montgomery | 20 April, 2018, 01:37

His handpicked successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, 57, is a Communist Party loyalist who was born a year after Fidel Castro claimed power in Cuba. His departure from the presidency is nonetheless a symbolically charged moment for a country accustomed to 60 years of absolute rule first by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and, for the last decade, his younger brother.

Although Diaz-Canel represents a new generation, most observers don't expect dramatic changes from the Communist Party stalwart who will turn 58 on Friday.

As they began their momentous two-day meeting Wednesday, the 605 delegates of the National Assembly cast their votes for the new Council of State, which counts 31 members and whose head automatically becomes president.

Castro, who had served for decades as defence minister, became president in 2008 when his older brother, Fidel Castro, formally handed over power as his health deteriorated.

While this week's assembly is promoting younger leaders of government, Castro and other elders of the revolution will likely retain a degree of power on the Caribbean island as senior leaders of the Communist Party until a party congress set for 2021.

"We're building a relationship between the government and the people here", he said then after casting a ballot for members of the National Assembly.

He says exiles don't like the lack of transparency around the handoff, and the dearth of information about Diaz-Canel. "The election in Cuba, that's a joke".

Castro's attempts to break diplomatic ground with the US under President Obama have been largely reversed after President Trump took office.

A man who is close to Raul Castro has been selected as the sole candidate to lead Cuba, and 7News spoke with several Little Havana residents about the change.

Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment.

While Diaz-Canel's public persona has been reserved since he joined the national government nine years ago, residents in his home province of Villa Clara enthuse about him as a handsome, friendly "man of the people" who got things done.

"He broke the psychological barrier with more market-oriented reforms", said LeoGrande, "but it is unfinished business".

But the satellite images don't show much, and he says he doesn't yearn to visit his homeland.

But the reform process doesn't go almost far enough for some Cuban exiles, and the transition of power is not one that many Cuban Americans envisioned when they thought of a post-Castro Cuba.

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