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Cuban First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez nominated to replace Raul Castro

Posted: 12:49 PM, Apr 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-18 16:49:17Z

HAVANA (AP) -- The Cuban government has nominated First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate for president, guaranteeing that the 57-year-old engineer will succeed Gen. Raul Castro, 86.

Wednesday's announcement confirms the long-held expectation that Diaz-Canel would take over from Castro in a transition meant to ensure that the country's single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it.

The nomination must be now approved by the 604 delegates attending the National Assembly, which always approves nominations with total or near-total unanimity.

Nominated as new first vice president is Salvador Valdes Mesa, a 72-year-old Afro-Cuban former union official who has held a long series of high posts in the Cuban government.