Cuba has a new president – and for the first time in six decades, his last name is not Castro.
Cuba's National Assembly has elected Cuba's First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel to replace 87-year-old Raúl Castro, who took over as Cuba's leader in 2006 after his brother Fidel Castro fell ill.
Raúl Castro stepped down in observance of the two-term limit for senior government and party officials that he himself mandated in 2011. In so doing, he opened the door not just for a new president but for a generational transition in Cuba.
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This is one of the most important moments I've seen in 40 years of studying and writing on Cuba.
Díaz-Canel faces real challenges. Cuba's economy is weak, relations with Washington are deteriorating and internet expansion on the Communist island has produced a growing chorus of domestic critics.