Leader, Cuba, Pcc, Raul Castro

Leader, Cuba

Cuba gets new leader as last Castro retires

Cuba gets new leader as last Castro retires

20/4/2021 12:45:00 AM

Cuba gets new leader as last Castro retires

Cuba marked the end of an era Monday with the transfer of power from the Castro clan, in charge for six decades, to the communist country's ...

WorldMiguel Diaz-Canel, a suit-and-tie wearing, tech-savvy Beatles fan, is a staunch party disciple. (Photo: AFP/Yamil Lage)20 Apr 2021 05:25AMShare this contentBookmarkHAVANA: Cuba marked the end of an era on Monday (Apr 19) with the transfer of power from the Castro clan, in charge for six decades, to the country's first-ever civilian leader in Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Changi Airport T1 eateries, Clementi coffee shop among slew of places visited by Covid-19 cases while infectious 7 community cases among 20 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore Victoria JC student infected with Covid-19; 103 people quarantined, 2,200 others to be swabbed

The transition, while hugely symbolic, is unlikely to result in dramatic policy shifts in the one-party system Diaz-Canel, 60, has vowed to safeguard.AdvertisementAdvertisement"The most revolutionary thing within the Revolution is to always defend the party, in the same way that the party should be the greatest defender of the Revolution," he said on Monday.

Already Cuba's president since 2018, Diaz-Canel has now also taken the all-powerful position of first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) as Raul Castro, 89, entered retirement.The pre-determined power transfer at a four-day PCC congress in Havana, marks a watershed for the country of 11.2 million people, many of whom have known no leader other than a Castro. headtopics.com

Fidel Castro, still revered as the country's father and savior, led the country from 1959 to 2006, when he fell ill and his brother Raul took over. Fidel Castro died in 2016.AdvertisementAdvertisementRaul Castro, 89, is stepping down, ending a six-decade family hold on power that started in 1959. (Photo: AFP/Ariel Ley)

Diaz-Canel was born after the revolution led by the Castro siblings in the 1950s, leading in 1959 to the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista.The PCC congress was held 60 years after Fidel Castro declared Cuba a socialist state, setting up decades of conflict with the United States, which has had sanctions against the country since 1962.

It also marked six decades since the failed Bay of Pigs invasion by anti-revolutionary Cuban exiles, backed by the CIA.AdvertisementTHE MORE THINGS CHANGEDiaz-Canel, a suit-and-tie wearing, tech-savvy Beatles fan, while in some ways more modern than the Castros with their love for military uniforms, is a staunch party disciple.

And a new constitution passed in May 2019 made it clear that the country's commitment to socialism was"irrevocable".In his final address to the party last Friday, Castro affirmed a"willingness to conduct a respectful dialogue and build a new kind of relationship with the United States". headtopics.com

Victoria Junior College student positive for COVID-19; more than 100 students, staff members quarantined Many governments helping their country’s media; SPH case no different: Shanmugam Malaysia sees more than 4,500 new COVID-19 cases; authorities say not planning nationwide MCO

But he stressed the country would not renounce"the principles of the revolution and socialism" as he urged the new generation to"zealously protect" the one-party dogma."There are limits that cannot be crossed," warned Castro.

The leadership change comes as Cuba battles its worst economic crisis in 30 years, sky-high inflation, biting food shortages, long lines for basic necessities and growing disgruntlement over limited freedoms.Cuba is battling its worst economic crisis in 30 years, sky-high inflation, biting food shortages, long lines for basic necessities and growing disgruntlement over limited freedoms. (Photo: AFP/Yamil Lage)

Cuba faces constant shortages and imports 80 per cent of what it consumes for lack of sufficient local production."Since I was born, I have only known one party," said Miguel Gainza, a 58-year-old in Havana."And no one dies of hunger, it's true," he adds. But today,"we are a little stuck, and it's a shame that Fidel is dead because he solved all our problems".

INTERNET DRIVING CHANGEThe internet, which arrived on mobile phones on the island in 2018, has been an engine of social change, even used to organise protest, previously unheard of in the country.Young Cubans, many of whom go overseas each year for lack of opportunities at home, are increasingly venting their frustrations on social media. headtopics.com

In response, the PCC adopted a congress resolution to confront online political and ideological"subversion".Even as the congress was underway, a group of activists, independent journalists and artists claimed police were preventing them from leaving their homes in a bid to stop them from gathering.

The group, which goes under the name the San Isidro Movement and organised free-speech protest last year, also claimed its members' home internet had been disconnected.Party delegates voted Sunday for a new 114-member central committee, which in turn chose the 14 members of the PCC politbureau - at the cusp of power in Cuba.

India hits 4,000 COVID-19 deaths in a day as cases surge in southern states 4 signs your marriage is heading towards divorce, according to a relationship therapist US wants COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver to benefit world, not boost China biotech

The politbureau, with Diaz-Canel at the head, has an average age of 61.6 and includes three women. Five of the 14 are newcomers.Party number two Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 90, retired along with Castro.Ties with the United States, after a historic but temporary easing of tensions under president Barack Obama between 2014 and 2016, worsened under Donald Trump, who reinforced sanctions.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday the United States was not planning any immediate change in its policy toward Cuba."Support for democracy and human rights will be at the core of our efforts," she said. Read more: CNA »

A Chinese ‘auntie’ went on a solo road trip. Now, she’s a feminist icon