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No surprises: Raul Castro re-elected president of Cuba

This is the second five year term for the 81-year-old Raul Castro who officially took over from his brother Fidel in 2008.

Raul Castro takes questions from journalists on Friday
Raul Castro takes questions from journalists on Friday
Image: AP Photo/Franklin Reyes

RAUL CASTRO HAS been re-elected as Cuba’s president, officially to his last five-year term, with a new regime number two: Council of State Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, official state media said.

“The National Assembly of People’s Power today approved, in this capital, Army General Raul Castro Ruz as president of the Council of State, and elected Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, as its first vice president,” according to the AIN news agency on Sunday.

Diaz-Canel, who turns 53 in April, is an electrical engineer by training, a former education minister and the president’s de facto political heir seeking to project into the future the Americas’ only one-party Communist regime.

Raul Castro, now 81, became interim president when his brother, revolution icon Fidel, took ill in 2006. He then formally became president in 2008.

The National Assembly, whose members ran for office in October unopposed, also chose Esteban Lazo, 69, as their new speaker.

- © AFP, 2013

Read: Raul Castro raises possibility of retiring as Cuban president >

Read: Chavez uses Twitter to announce surprise return to Venezuela >

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