Miguel Díaz-Canel has been ratified on Thursday by the National Assembly of Cuba as the new president of the Council of State, the country's first leader in practice. The parliament ratified the former vice president with 99.83% of the votes of the deputies present. Diaz-Canel replaces the General Raúl Castro, who retires from power after 12 years at the head of the country. However, the new president clarified that Raúl Castro “will lead the most important decisions” for the country.
The Cuban parliament enacted a proposal that extends Raúl Castro’s term from the original February 24 deadline. The Council of the State underscored that the extension was based on the “exceptional situation” Cuba finds itself in due to costly damages Hurricane Irma inflicted on the island last September.