Raúl Castro cedes presidency of the Communist Party to Miguel Díaz-Canel
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel assumed the presidency of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) from Raúl Castro to maintain continuity in the party.
Miguel Díaz-Canel, current president of Cuba has been appointed during the last Congress of the PCC as first secretary of the party, replacing Raúl Castro in the most powerful position in the party. The president affirmed that despite being the new leader "the strategic decisions for the future of the nation will be consulted" with his predecessor Raul Castro. Díaz-Canel reaffirmed what he said at the closing of the conclave from the party's own Twitter account.
Con el General de Ejercito Raul Castro Ruz seran consultadas las decisiones estrategicas del futuro de la nacion, reafirma el Primer Secretario del CCPCC y presidente de la Republica de #Cuba, Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudez en la clausura del #8voCongresoPCC #CongresodelaContinuidad pic.twitter.com/XXcOef5BKZ
— Partido Com. de Cuba (@PartidoPCC) April 19, 2021
So far, the organizational chart published by the Cuban press does not include the figure of a second secretary, but the succession of positions marks a new era in the party and in the country, without a Castro leading for the first time in the last six decades. The PCC Congress was held behind closed doors last Friday and was aimed at renewing the leadership, while preserving and guaranteeing the continuity of the party.
The succession comes days after Castro, 89, confirmed that he was stepping down as head of the PCC since by consensus, there is a limit of two five-year terms for communist leaders. Miguel Diaz-Canel, 60, is the clear choice for this succession. The president has been loyal to the Castro model and state socialism in Cuba. Díaz-Canel already replaced Castro as the country's president in 2018 and is considered the "disciple of choice" to continue Castroism.
For his part, Raul Castro declared, "as long as I live I will be ready with my foot in the stirrup to defend the homeland, the revolution and socialism," exclaimed the 89-year-old former president on the opening day of the VIII Congress of the single party last Friday in Havana, after confirming his retirement as first secretary of the formation. Although the line is expected to be maintained, the fragile economic outlook may mean that Díaz-Canel may have to further liberalize the centralized economy in the near future.