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For the first time in 60 years, someone other than Fidel or Raul Castro will govern Cuba. The government has nominated First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel as the sole candidate for president. His term is likely to start when Raul steps down during a session of the National Assembly that is underway.
Raul Castro came to power in 2006 when his older brother Fidel, who had ruled for almost half a century, stepped aside due to deteriorating health. After assuming control Raul began rolling back some of the restrictions imposed by his older brother. Until 2008, Cubans weren’t allowed mobile phones, internet access, or to stay at Cuban hotels and resorts. Perhaps the most historic of his rule was ending a 50 year standoff with the United States when he agreed to work with US President Barack Obama on restoring the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
It’s unclear the path Diaz-Canel will take as a leader. One thing is certain, he’ll become president at a time when Cuba faces a serious economic crisis, compounded by the dwindling subsidies from Venezuela, the continuation of US embargos, and major income inequality. So what will Cuba’s future be under the new leader? We’ll discuss that, and the legacy of the Castros on this episode of The Stream.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Lucia Newman @lucianewman
Correspondent, Al Jazeera
Ramon Saúl Sánchez @saulsanchez
Director, Movimiento Democracia
Arturo López-Levy @turylevy
Lecturer, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Harold Cárdenas @HaroldC4rdenas
Amalia Dache‐Gerbino @amaliagerbino
Assistant Professor, University of Missouri
Raul Castro's report card - Al Jazeera
Cuba's President Raul Castro to step down - Al Jazeera
Who is Miguel Diaz-Canel, Cuba's likely new president? - NBC News
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