“Cuban leader Raúl Castro announced on Sunday he would step down from power after his second term as president ends in 2018.
Castro made the announcement in a nationally broadcast speech shortly after the Cuban National Assembly elected him to a second five-year term in the opening session of the new parliament.
In a surprise move, the new parliament named a rising young star as his first vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, 52, a member of the political bureau who rose through the party ranks in the provinces to become the most visible possible successor to Castro. Diaz-Canel would succeed Castro if he cannot serve his full term.
Castro says the country has reached a “transcendent” moment in which it is ready to start transferring responsibility and power to a younger generation.