Cuba’s new leader ‘not a reformer’

By Mariusa Reyes | World Watch Monitor

Raúl Castro, who replaced his brother Fidel as Cuba’s president in 2006, stepped down from the post this week, ending a decades-long rule by his family.

His successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel – who up until now was the country’s first vice-president – takes on an historic leadership role by becoming the first president outside the Castro clan to lead the government.

Despite the expectation this shift in power generates, analysts and researchers doubt it will lead to a political transition or a significant change in the way the country is governed, at least not while Raúl Castro remains head of the Communist Party and the natural leader of the Cuban Armed Forces, which controls much of the economy.