Cuba’s new President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel grew up in the Cuban revolution and it’s clear his mission is to make sure it survives.
In his first speech as president Thursday, Díaz-Canel emphasized continuity with the past and an important and ongoing political role for retiring Cuban president Raúl Castro, 86, who will remain at the helm of the Communist Party of Cuba.
“The mandate given by the people to this legislature is the continuity of the revolution,” said Díaz-Canel, who turns 58 on Friday. “The revolution continues and will continue to be alive.” The new president said he shared the conviction of all Cubans to be faithful to the legacy of the late Fidel Castro and the example of his brother Raúl.
A sustained standing ovation greeted Díaz-Canel and Castro as they entered Havana’s Convention Palace together just before Díaz-Canel was confirmed by the National Assembly of People’s Power as the new president.