Cuban officials decided to postpone long-held plans for the 86-year-old Raul Castro on Thursday. The Cuban leader is to retire on February 24, 2018, when his second five-year term ends but the Island of Freedom is still dealing with the aftermath of the killer storm.
Raul Castro, the younger brother of the legendary Fidel Castro, is a leader of Cuban government whose second five-year term ends in February. On Thursday, at a meeting of the National Assembly, state-run media announced the naming of Castro’s successor will now take place April 19.
“My second and last term will have concluded, and Cuba will have a new president,”
Raul Castro confirmed after meeting with the Cuban lawmakers.
While no one seemingly has a lock on the job, Raul Castro has for years indicated that Cuban first Vice President Miguel-Diaz Canel has his blessing. In 2013, when Raul Castro first announced his plans to step down, he expressed his opinion regarding Canel:
“Comrade Diaz-Canel isn’t upstart or an improvisation. His trajectory has lasted nearly 30 years,”
Cuba is going to have a new president soon
The official announcement, published in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Thursday, said the decision was made because of the impact of Hurricane Irma, which hit Cuba as a category 5 storm in September.
Meanwhile, Cuban leader is prepared to turn over the day-to-day operations to a new leader and may spend his quasi-retirement on the other end of the island, in Santiago de Cuba, the city where his brother Fidel was buried after he died in 2016.
The former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray suggested that Miguel-Diaz Canel will exercise some control in the background but Raul Castro will basically tell Diaz-Canel ‘This is your ballgame. You decide.’