Change of regime in Cuba

Cuba's outgoing President Raul Castro right and new President Miguel Diaz Canel raise their arms in unison at the National Assembly in Havana Cuba Thursday

Pence tweeted in response to a quote from Castro, who said Pence "couldn't take it and left" during his appearance last weekend at an worldwide summit in Peru.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Jose Marti monument in Havana, Cuba April 21, 2018.

Many in South Florida who either fled the Cuban Revolution themselves or are related to people who did, have always been hostile to the government.

Some of the Cubans who either fled political repression or sought better futures by making new homes in Miami get offended that they're even being asked about this transition, because they're so convinced nothing will change. "I do not believe that this will lead to any change that favors the freedom or life of Cubans here or on the island".

Julio Cesar Alfonso, president of Solidarity Without Borders, calls the change of leadership a "farce". Castro said he foresees the white-haired electronics engineer serving two five-year terms as leader of the Cuban government, and taking the helm of the Communist Party, the country's ultimate authority, when Castro leaves the powerful position in 2021.

"It's a cosmetic change", said Wilfriedo Allen, a 66-year-old lawyer in Miami who emigrated from Cuba in 1961.

Ahead of a historic summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, US president Donald Trump has threatened to cancel the meeting or walk out if there are signs it "is not going to be fruitful".

Cuban-state media said Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated President Miguel Diaz-Canel and thanked the outgoing President Raul Castro for the many years of cooperation between the two countries.

"There's no space here for a transition that ignores or destroys the legacy of so many years of struggle", Diaz-Canel said. A 47-year-old chef, he flew out of Cuba, then made the perilous journey from Ecuador to the USA six years ago, leaving behind two older children to find a job and make ends meet.

Cuban state media are enthusiastically promoting "The Last Mambi", a tribute to Castro posted online by renowned trova singer Raul Torres.


It was nothing like the commotion following the death of Fidel Castro, which exiles celebrated by clanging pots and beating drums at the same spot in November 2016.

One of the fiercest congressional critics of Cuba's government says the island's new president is a "thug" who is just the "same as the old boss". In his first speech as president, Diaz-Canel vowed to keep the country on the path of that "revolution", but also on the road to economic reform.

Raul Castro stepped down as president Thursday, ending 60 years of Castros holding the island's top government position. "For us, it's totally clear that only the Communist Party of Cuba, the guiding force of society and the state, guarantees the unity of the nation of Cuba". "It's the communist, authoritarian, totalitarian regime".

Canel Bermudez' Presidency is the first time in almost six decades where a Cuban President is not a member of the Castro family. That image changed slightly this year as state media placed an increasing spotlight on Diaz-Canel's public appearances, including remarks to the press last month that included his promise to make Cuba's government more responsive to its people, language he echoed on Thursday.

A 57-YEAR-OLD bureaucrat took Raul Castro's place as the president of Cuba yesterday. Between them, the Castro brothers made the island of more than 11 million people a key player in the Cold War and helped keep communism afloat despite the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Raul Castro served as president for two terms since 2008.

Cuba's new President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Thursday (Friday in Manila) became the country's first leader in almost 60 years who is not named Castro, pledging continuity for the Caribbean island during the historic transition of power.

The head of state said that "our like-mindedness has created a firm foundation, which we have built upon through open dialogue, shared values, common ambitions and mutual aspiration".

Raul Castro sat in the front row of the assembly, gently rocking back and forth in his chair and occasionally seeming to nod in approval.

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