Cuba officially has a new head of state with Miguel Diaz-Canel. The decision was announced Thursday (April 19) by Cuba’s National Assembly, The Washington Post reports. Diaz-Canel’s position is finally putting an end to Fidel Castro’s 60-year communist regime over the country. Yet amid the new change in leadership, it seems like Cubans will still be under a communist government, as the 57 year-old leader is still following the path the Castro family created.
Reportedly, officials declared Diaz-Canels won the race 603 to 1. According to The Post, during his inaugural speech he paid respects to Raul and Fidel Castro, and other historic revolutionary figures that have a major influence on the island. Overall, while he did promise change, a capitalist society is out of the question. ‘There is no room for those who aspire to a capitalist restoration,” he said. “We will defend the revolution and continue to perfect socialism.”
Diaz-Canal became an electronics engineer at the Central University of Las Villas. Later, he joined Cuba’s revolutionary armed forces and also taught college classes. For some, the hope of change is something that’s seemingly on the horizon. “In the 1990s, he was one of the first Cuban leaders using a laptop, and now you see him using his tablet,” Harold Cardenas, a college professor said. “I do think Díaz-Canel can bring change, while also keeping continuity in the system.”
Still, the people want to see change and they want something guaranteed that they haven’t seen before. “For us, this is like trying to imagine a new color, one that you haven’t seen before,” said a 22-year-old DJ. “We don’t want capitalism. That won’t work for us. But what we want is something that we haven’t seen yet.”