A 57-year-old bureaucrat replaced Raul Castro as the president of Cuba on Thursday, launching a new political era as a government led by a single family for six decades tries to ensure the long-term survival of one of the world’s last communist states. The National Assembly announced that Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez had been approved as the sole candidate for president. The 86-year-old Castro will remain head of the Communist Party, which is designated by the constitution as “the superior guiding force of society and the state.” As a result, he will still be the most powerful person in Cuba for the time being. His departure from the presidency is nonetheless a symbolically charged moment for a country that has been under the absolute rule of one family since the revolution — first by revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and, for the last decade, his younger brother. Facing biological reality but still active and apparently healthy, Raul Castro is stepping down as president in an effort to guarantee that new leaders can maintain the government’s grip on power in the face of economic stagnation, an aging population and increasing disenchantment among younger generations. “I like sticking with the ideas of President… Read full this story
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