Some believe the former President will be the de facto leader until 2031.
Michael W. | Andrea Rodriguez
La Havana, Cuba.- Miguel Diaz-Canel has been the presumptive next president of Cuba since 2013, when Raul Castro named the laconic former provincial official to the important post of first vice president and lauded him as “neither a novice nor an improviser,” high praise in a system dedicated to continuity over all.
Castro said nothing about how a young civilian from outside his family could lead the socialist nation that he and his older brother Fidel created from scratch and ruled with total control for nearly 60 years. Exiles in Miami said Diaz-Canel would be a figurehead for continued Castro dominance.
Cubans on the island speculated about a weak president sharing power with the head of the communist party, or maybe a newly created post of prime minister. No one who knew was talking. And no one who was talking knew.
The first clues to the mystery of Cuba’s future power structure were revealed early Thursday when Raul Castro handed the presidency to Diaz-Canel, who took office when the 604-member National Assembly said 603 of its members had approved the 57-year-old as the sole official candidate for the top government position.
The plan laid out by Raul Castro on Thursday would leave Diaz-Canel as the dominant figure in Cuban politics until 2031.