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Cuba Gets New Leader As Last Castro Steps Down

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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, Miguel Diaz-Canel.

As Raul Castro, 89, enters retirement, he handed the all-powerful position of first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba to Diaz-Canel, 60, already Cuba’s president since 2018.

Diaz-Canel’s election at a party congress, though pre-determined, marks a watershed for the country of 11.2 million people, many of whom have known no leader other than a Castro.


Diaz-Canel and some other members of the new PCC executive were born after the revolution led by the Castro siblings in the 1950s, leading in 1959 to the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista.

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It also marked six decades since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion by anti-revolutionary Cuban exiles, backed by the CIA.

The change at the top is not expected to yield any major policy shifts.

And a new constitution passed in May 2019 made it clear that the country’s commitment to socialism was “irrevocable.”

But he stressed the country would not renounced “the principles of the revolution and socialism” as he urged the new generation to “zealously protect” the one-party dogma.

The leadership change comes as Cuba battles its worst economic crisis in 30 years, sky-high inflation, biting food shortages, long lines for basic necessities and growing disgruntlement over limited freedoms.

“Since I was born, I have only known one party,” said Miguel Gainza, a 58-year-old in Havana.

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Young Cubans, many of whom go overseas each year for lack of opportunities at home, are increasingly venting their frustrations on social media.

The PCC had pledged to tackle the issue of online “political and ideological subversion” at its congress.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday the United States was not planning any immediate change in its policy toward Cuba.

BlazeNewz Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. Opinion articles, comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of BlazeNewz while we endeavour to keep the information accurate with objectivity as we adhere to global practice of journalism. Read our full Disclaimer.

Hammed Tajudeen is the editor in-chief of Blaze News, holds Higher National Diploma(HND) in Mass Communication, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree.

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