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News > Cuba

Cuban Ballot Boxes to Mark a Step to Diaz-Canel's Reelection

  • Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (R) in Villa Clara.

    Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (R) in Villa Clara. | Photo: Twitter/ @huella_sandinis

Published 24 March 2023

So far, his administration has achieved memorable results such as the approval of a new Constitution and the mass production of various COVID-19 vaccines.

On Sunday, Cubans will go to the polls to confirm the 470 National Assembly members who are likely to re-elect President Miguel Diaz-Canel for the 2023-2028 term.


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Born in the city of Placetas in 1960, Diaz-Canel was the first politician not belonging to the revolutionary generation to be elected president of Cuba. 

Before taking office in 2018, he served as Vice President (2013-2018) and Higher Education Minister (2009-2012). Below is a list of the main achievements of his administration.

A new constitution was drafted. Daiz-Canel suggested drafting a new Constitution to replace the 1976 Magna Carta and introduce necessary political, economic, and social changes in the country.

Besides underscoring the irrevocability of socialism in Cuba, the new Constitution established human dignity as the fundamental foundation of all rights and duties, explicitly declared the secular character of the State, and recognized that market, private property, and foreign investment are necessary to boost the country’s economy under the U.S. blockade.

COVID-19 vaccines production. An achievement of the Diaz-Canel administration is the production of the Abdala, Sovereign 02, and Sovereign Plus vaccines, which Cuban authorities used in the mass national immunization campaign against COVID-19.

"We made this achievement under the worst circumstances: economic recession, rise in COVID-19 cases, strengthening of the U.S. blockade. Nevertheless, the difficulty, as so many times throughout our history, became an opportunity," Diaz-Canel said, thanking the efforts of scientists of the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV).

A new law on private enterprises. On August 2021, the National Assembly approved a law allowing Cuban citizens to set micro, small and medium-sized companies (MSMEs) in conjunction with the State or independently.

This initiative is part of the efforts to increase the national output after the economic recession prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Natural disaster management. Diaz-Canel also had to face several natural disasters. On Jan. 27, 2019, a tornado devastated Havana, where at least eight people died, over 190 citizens were injured, and 500 homes were destroyed.

Besides personally assisting the victims, Diaz-Canel reduced by 50 percent the prices of construction materials for people whose homes were affected by the tornado.

On Aug. 5, 2022, a lighting strike caused a mass fire at Matanzas city's fuel depot. For days, a thick cloud of black and toxic smoke rose from the port of that city. The fire left two people dead,  over 4,000 displaced persons, and hundreds of homes destroyed or affected. Diaz-Canel led the working group that organized the containment of fire and aid for the victims.

Containment of external threats. His administration also faced the situations prompted by an economic blockade that began more than six decades ago but intensified during the presidency of Donald Trump. As a result of the U.S. arbitrary sanctions, for example, Cuba lost at least US$4 billion in just 7 months, between August 2021 and February 2022.

On July 11, 2021, the Diaz-Canel administration also overcame threats to its political stability caused by rallies whose domestic organizers were supported by the U.S.-based terrorist Ramon Sanchez, who helped blow up a Cubana Airlines plane in Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976.

His foreign policy has also managed to overcome the U.S. slander against the Cuban Revolution, such as including Cuba in the list of States sponsoring terrorism.

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