Raul Castro gets new term, younger leader is VP

The Castro brothers, Raul (right) and Fidel, attended Sunday’s session.
AFP/Getty Images
The Castro brothers, Raul (right) and Fidel, attended Sunday’s session.

HAVANA — Cuba’s Parliament on Sunday named Raul Castro to a new five-year term as president and rising star Miguel Diaz-Canel his first vice president, state media reported.

Diaz-Canel, 52, is now the first in line to succeed Castro. He is the highest-ranking Cuban official who did not participate in the 1959 Cuban revolution.

Castro told the lawmakers that he will not seek another five-year term after the new one ends. He said the country has reached a ‘‘transcendent’’ moment in which it is ready to start transferring responsibility to a younger generation.


Parliament reconvened Sunday with new membership and observers were looking for signs of whether younger politicians might assumes top leadership posts, providing hints of a possible future successor.

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Raul Castro fueled speculation on Friday when he talked of his possible retirement and suggested that he has plans to resign at some point.

The president will turn 82 this year and would be 86 when a new term ends. His top two lieutenants are also in their 80s.

Fidel Castro, who ceded the presidency to his brother after falling ill, attended Sunday’s session, in which 612 legislators were sworn in. Delegates picked economist Esteban Lazo as the assembly’s first new chief in 20 years.

Associated Press