It’s the end of an era in Cuba. For the first time in more than half a century, Cuba won’t be ruled by a Castro.
Raúl Castro — who took over from his brother Fidel 12 years ago — is expected to step down as president on Thursday. When he does, he’ll be replaced by First Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez.
Díaz-Canel was selected by Cuba’s National Assembly as the sole candidate for head of state. While the assembly doesn’t technically vote until Thursday, the closely held political process virtually guarantees that he’ll be the successor.
The incoming president has promised to stick closely to the agenda set by the Castro brothers. “I believe in continuity,” Díaz-Canel told reporters recently when asked about his vision for Cuba’s future.
During Raúl Castro’s time in office, he focused largely on economic reforms in an attempt to modernize the country’s Soviet-style centrally planned economy. These efforts have led to … mixed results.