Raul Castro will step down as President of Cuba »Politics»

On April 19, a historic event will take place in Cuba without exaggeration. At the parliamentary session, Raul Castro will announce the resignation of his powers as president (chairman of the State Council) of the Island of Liberty. He has ruled the country since 2008, when the historical leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, resigned from government posts due to illness.

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Photo by RIA Novosti. Raul Castro

However, it would be wrong to believe that the era of the Castro brothers, who ruled the country since 1959, is actually ending in this Caribbean country. The fact is that Raul Castro will remain the head of the Cuban Communist Party until 2021, and this post is regarded as much more influential than the post of Chairman of the State Council.

Who will replace Raul Castro as head of state? This is a tall, gray-haired, relatively young by Cuban standards official, 57-year-old Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, who is currently the first vice president of Cuba.

He is a completely non-public politician who preferred to remain in the shadow of the “old guard”. By the way, he turns 58 on Friday. In one of his rare speeches, he designated some of the European embassies in Havana “as outposts for foreign subversion.”

What is known about the future president? He was born and educated in Santa Clara, where, according to the Washington Post, he graduated from a local university in 1982. After that, he completed three years of compulsory military service. In 1987 he joined the Young Communist Union. He also went on to work as a professor of engineering at Santa Clara University and traveled to Nicaragua as part of a government mission to support that country’s socialist revolution. It is known that in his youth he admired the work of The Beatles, which irritated some of the old party officials. Diaz-Canel’s two children played in the famous Cuban rock band Polaroid.

The young professor was appointed the first party secretary in the province of Villa Clara in 1994 and has gained a reputation as a hardworking civil servant who leads a humble lifestyle. Residents in the province told The Associated Press that Diaz-Canel was the first official not to move into a new home provided by the government after being appointed first secretary.

During a special period in the mid-1990s in Cuba, when the economy of this country almost collapsed, Diaz-Canel moved around the city by bicycle and visited the homes of local residents every day, listening to their complaints and suggestions.

He even went to the local funeral hall to check the quality of the service.

In 2003, Diaz-Canel was appointed first secretary of the eastern province of Holguín, the cradle of the Cuban revolution, where he worked for six years. In the same year he was inducted into the Cuban Politburo.

In 2009, he was appointed Minister of Higher Education of Cuba and was praised for modernizing curricula and introducing computer technology into many university programs. He was also known as one of the first high-ranking officials to bring a laptop to government meetings.

For the first time, evidence that he could become the successor of Raul Castro appeared in 2013, when Diaz-Canel was appointed the first vice-president of Cuba. According to experts, he will become the head of state at a very difficult time for Cuba, which is experiencing great economic problems and an acute crisis in relations with the United States.



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