The ruling Communist Party in Cuba installed Miguel Diaz-Canel, first secretary of the party’s Central Committee, to succeed its leader, Raul Castro.
Diaz-Canel succeeded Castro as the country’s president in 2018, and is now succeeding him as leader of the ruling party, who is believed to be more powerful and influential than the president.
This transfer of power means that Cuba emerged from the rule of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, for the first time, since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.
Diaz-Canel is described as being loyal to the Castro family and the economic model it espouses.
Speaking before the new party leader’s official inauguration, Raul Castro said Friday that he was handing over the leadership to a new generation imbued with “the spirit of anti-imperialism.”
Diaz-Canel is 60 years old, that is, he is 30 years younger than his predecessor.
On Sunday, Communist Party delegates elected the new Central Committee, but leadership positions were not announced until Monday.
On Friday, the party congress announced that Raul Castro would step down from the party leadership.
Raul Castro, 89, has been the party’s first secretary since his brother Fidel stepped down in 2011.
The Castro brothers have ruled the country between them since the tyrannical rule of General Batista was overthrown in 1959.
Fidel Castro has led the country since 1959, but his health deteriorated in 2006 and he handed over power to his brother.
Fidel Castro died in 2016, and the reins of Cuban rule remained in the hands of his brother Raul.