HAVANA (AP) – A 57-year-old bureaucrat will take Raul Castro’s place as the president of Cuba on Thursday as a government led by a single family for six decades tries to ensure the long-term survival of one of the world’s last communist states.
Members of the National Assembly voted Wednesday on Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez’s nomination as the sole candidate for president. The result won’t be officially announced until Thursday morning but it’s already clear because the assembly approves all executive branch proposals by margins of 95 percent or higher.
The 86-year-old Castro will remain head of the Communist Party, which is designated by the constitution as “the superior guiding force of society and the state.” As a result, Castro will still be the most powerful person in Cuba for the time being.
Legislator Jose Ramon Fernandez, center, casts his ballot to choose new leadership for the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 18, 2018. Cuba’s legislature opened a two-day session that is to elect a successor to President Raul Castro. (Adalberto Roque/Pool via AP)
FILE – In this March 17, 2015 file photo, Cuba’s President Raul Castro listens to the playing of national anthems during his welcome ceremony at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela. On April 19, 2018 Raul Castro will step down as president after a decade in office. The world should expect no immediate radical change from a single-party system dedicated to stability above all else. Raul Castro will remain first secretary of the Communist Party, described by the Cuban constitution as the country’s “highest guiding force.” (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
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