President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba’s ruling Communist Party has been elected to replace Raul Castro as the party’s first secretary, the country’s most influential post.
The succession brings an end to six decades of rule by Fidel and Raul Castro, the brothers who led Cuba’s revolution in 1959.
Mr Diaz-Canel, 60, had been widely predicted to be appointed first party secretary after succeeding Castro as President in 2018.
Since taking office, he has emphasized stability and is unlikely to step Cuba away from its one-party socialist system.
“Diaz-Canel is not the fruit of improvisation but of the thoughtful selection of a young revolutionary who has all that is required to be promoted to higher positions,” Raul Castro said in a speech opening the congress on Friday.
Hundreds of delegates gathered in the capital Havana for the party’s most critical conference, which occurs every five years to review strategy and elect new leadership.
Mr Castro claimed at the most recent party congress in 2016 that it will be the last presided over by the so-called historic generation of those who fought in the Sierra Maestra to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista’s US-backed government.
Jose Ramon Machado Ventura and Ramiro Valdes, two other well-known supporters of that generation, will not be part of the current policy-making political bureau.
The party has yet to name a replacement for Machado Ventura, a communist ideologue who currently serves as deputy party chief.
Source: ABC World News