Castro Re-elected as Cuba’s President
(Havana) – Raul Castro is re-elected as Cuba’s President, officially to his last five-year term, with a new regime Council of State Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel. “The National Assembly of People’s Power approved, in this capital, Army General Raul Castro Ruz as President of the Council of State, and elected Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, as its first vice president,” according to the official statement.
Diaz-Canel, who turns 53 in April, is an electrical engineer by training, a former education minister. Since March 2012, Diaz-Canel has been one of the eight vice presidents on the Council of Ministers. He took the number two spot from Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 82, who left that post but remains among the vice presidents.
Among the five vice presidents on the Council of State as designated by the assembly was new blood: Mercedes Lopez Acea, 48. She had been the leader of the Communist Party’s Havana provincial assembly.
Raul Castro, now 81, became interim president when his brother, revolution icon Fidel, took ill in 2006. He then formally became president in 2008. The National Assembly, whose members ran for office in October unopposed, also chose Esteban Lazo, 69, as their new speaker.