The Heat: Cuba's new president

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Former President Raul Castro will remain general secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, and so Diaz-Canel will not have the same power as revolutionaries before him, according to Dr. Robert A. Portada III, a Kutztown University associate professor who teaches political science, specializing in Latin America and Cuba-U.S. relations.

The country's National Assembly elected Miguel Diaz-Canel as the new man in office.

"Diaz-Canel was put in the presidency to say that in Cuba if there are elections, that it is not a dynasty and look good with worldwide public opinion but everything is a (falsehood) of the Castro dictatorship because he will be under the shadow of the Castro dynasty".

He is the island's first leader born after the revolution, and will be 58 on Friday.The chamber erupted into applause as the result was read out, with numerous delegates smiling, and shaking hands warmly with Castro and Diaz-Canel.

Soon after Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Cuba to found a communist state in 1959, Cuba began nationalizing U.S-owned properties in Cuba.

Pence tweeted in response to a quote from Castro, who said Pence "couldn't take it and left" during his appearance last weekend at an global summit in Peru.

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Sixty-five-year-old Lourdes Diaz tells The Associated Press she sees nothing to distinguish the 57-year-old new president from his predecessor. State salaries average $30 a month, leaving workers struggling to feed their families, and often dependent on corruption or remittances from relatives overseas. There, people described him as a hard-working, modest-living technocrat dedicated to improving public services.

The communist revolution in Cuba "carries on and will carry on", he said. In a video leaked to the media previous year, he notably defended Cuba's academics and bloggers from criticism from the party hardliners, but also pledged to silence certain media outlets and labeled some European embassies as outposts of subversion. Global observers and Cubans alike will be scrutinizing every move he makes in coming days and weeks. Analysts say it will be hard for the incoming president to deepen economic reforms.

The Candidacy Commission also nominated another six vice presidents of the Council of State, Cuba's highest government body.

State media went into overdrive Wednesday with a single message: Cuba's system is continuing in the face of change. "Do you see this as an opportunity, perhaps, for change - more change - coming out of Cuba?".

Raul Castro handpicked Diaz-Canel to become his successor, and the decision was recently confirmed by Cuba's rubber-stamp parliament, the National Assembly, with 99.83 percent of the vote. "Until then, I will continue to support the Cuban people in their fight for freedom and democracy and will seek to hold the Castro regime - regardless of who is the ceremonial figurehead - accountable for its atrocious human rights abuses". Ceremonies continued through lunchtime and broke until Thursday morning, when the new national leadership is expected to be officially announced on the anniversary of the defeat of USA -backed invaders at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.