HAVANA – In many ways, Cuba’s new maximum leader is nothing like those who have governed the island for the past six decades.
Miguel Díaz-Canel was never a guerrilla fighter and was for only a few years, like all Cubans of his generation, a soldier. He rose peacefully and diligently through the approved channels. And he isn’t named Castro.
On Monday, Cuba’s Communist Party congress — as expected — chose Díaz-Canel to be its leader, adding that crucial post to the title of president he assumed in 2018. In both cases, he replaces his mentor Raul Castro, 89, sealing a political dynasty that had held power since the 1959 revolution.
Díaz-Canel, who turns 61 on Tuesday, is a relative youngster compared to members of the generation that accompanied Fidel Castro in his battle against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and then stayed on in power for decade after decade while cementing a Soviet-style political system.