The Cuban Parliament on Wednesday picked First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel as the sole candidate to succeed Raul Castro as president, BBC reported. Castro had taken over from his brother Fidel Castro in 2006.
This is the first time a person from outside the Castro family will lead Cuba since 1959, Al Jazeera reported.
The country’s legislature, National Assembly, voted on Diaz-Canel’s nomination on Wednesday but the result will only be announced on Thursday, when Raul Castro will formally pass the presidency on to Diaz-Canel.
Castro, however, will remain the head of the Communist Party until its next congress in 2021.
Diaz-Canel will take over at a time when the Cuban economy is going through a crisis, and relations with the United States have deteriorated during Donald Trump’s tenure as president. But Castro sought to play down these problems. “Despite the errors and insufficiencies recognised in this plenary, the [economic] situation is more favourable than a few years ago,” he said.