Cuba has a new president and for the first time in six decades, it’s not a member of the Castro family.

After stepping down, at the age of 87, Raul Castro has been replaced by Cuba’s first Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Castro replaced his brother in 2006, after Fidel fell sick.

During his leadership, Raul opened the door not only for a new president, but also for a general transformation of Cuba, maintaining a two-term limit for senior government and party officials.

Stepping up, Diaz-Canel is about to face some real challenges. The economy of the country is weak, as Castro adopted the dual-currency system in 1994. Other factors are the relationships with Washington, which is not great and the expansion on the Communist island has produced a large number of domestic crises.

Diaz-Canel, 57, started as a trained engineer and worked his way, through the local party leader, to a vice president and now to a president. He, however, has to work hard to earn authority among Cubans.

The president will, most definitely, benefit from Castro’s experience and authority, since he was his mentor. Diaz-Canel, like Castro, appears as relaxed in small groups of people.

However, Raul Castro, is not fully stepping down, as he will remain as a first secretary of the Communist Party.

Even if this transformation is not big for us, for Cuba it is significant. For the first time the leader of the government and the leader of the Communist Party are two different people.

Now, as Diaz-Canel ministries the government with his own staff, he has to sort out the relationship between the party and the state.

Before stepping down, Castro stated that change in the currency “cannot be delayed any longer.” But how the new president is going to handle the problem is still under question.

So if Diaz-Canel managed to deal with the most serious case, the economy, his leadership can actually count as a success.

Him being a president, however, is questioned by the population, since most of them have always had Castro as a leader.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply