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  • President Miguel Diaz-Canel during a meeting with Russian diplomacy in La Habana, Cuba, Oct. 3, 2019.

    President Miguel Diaz-Canel during a meeting with Russian diplomacy in La Habana, Cuba, Oct. 3, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 October 2019

Miguel Diaz-Canel will continue to fulfill his traditional functions but holding the title of President.

In compliance with the mandates of the new Cuban Constitution, the National Assembly of Popular Power elected Thursday the first president of the republic, a position that was removed from the political system in 1976, the vice president and the head of parliament.

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Until now, the Cuban political government was headed by the “President of the Councils of State and Ministers,” a position previously held by Fidel Castro (1976–2008) and Raul Castro (2008–2018), both of whom also held the position of first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

Miguel Diaz-Canel, who assumed the presidency of the Councils of State and Ministers in 2018, will continue to fulfill his traditional functions but holding the title of President of the Republic.

For the next five years, however, Diaz-Canel may make decisions without relying on the approval of the State Council, at least formally.

When the Cubans commemorate their independence from Spain, 599 lawmakers will also elect the country's vice president and the top leaders of the Assembly and the State Council.

In February, the Cubans ratified in a referendum the current Constitution, which replaced the 1976 Soviet-era text while maintaining as "irrevocable" Socialism led by the country's Communist Party.

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