Miguel Díaz-Canel is the new president of Cuba. He replaces Raul Castro who took over the leadership of the country from his ailing brother, Fidel Castro. It has been noted that Diaz-Canel is the first person who is not a Castro to lead Cuba. Even though Díaz-Canel was born after the revolution, he is a staunch ally of Raúl Castro and is not expected to make any radical changes. Cuban Ambassador to Belize, Lissette Perez Perez, spoke of Diaz-Canel’s ascension.
Lissette Perez Perez, Cuban Ambassador to Belize: “This is a symbolic moment because this is a man, his name is Miguel Diaz Canel Bermudez and this is a man that was born after the revolution. He was born a year after the revolution, it means that this is a new generation of Cubans but at the same time that embodies the principles of our founding fathers, the principles of Fidel and Raul and that of course we are very excited because we see in Cuba the continuity of the revolutionary process, the continuity of the legacy of our leaders and we strongly believe that we will continue improving our society trying to update our economic and social model but of course trying at the same time to preserve our achievement. Our social achievement that we with a lot of sacrifice have been done in sixty years.”
Reporter: Can Canelo’s ascension to the presidency of Cuba be interpreted as a symbolic election because while you say that he was chosen and elected by parliament the Cuban people did not necessarily elect him to the post of president.
Lissette Perez Perez, Cuban Ambassador to Belize: “The Cubans elect all of our representative. I’ve told you that you can’t understand me very well because in the Caribbean countries you are represented in the constituencies, Cuba also has their constituencies with all the representatives of the parliament being elected there and go to the parliament are the ones who are chosen. In the parliament we vote in the second vote for the president. You can understand that this is not something exclusive to Cuba but the issue is that in the other kind of models when people elect directly they create this confusion but we of course select all of our representatives in the communities because they see the history and the people vote for them in their communities or districts as you use this term.”
Díaz-Canel had been serving as first vice-president for the past five years.