What Cubans Expect From the Transition of Power

On April 19, Cuba will have a new President. There are different perspectives but everyone expects a change. Uncertainty prevails.

Miguel Diaz-Canel (Center) possible replacement of Raul Castro, in a visit to El Salvador. Photo: Presidencia El Salvador, CC.

On April 19, Cuba will have a new President in charge of the country.

For most in Cuba, the main question is who the leader will be. But with it come the questions of if things might improve under the new leadership, such as benefits, jobs, and salary increase. These are common expectations among divided perspectives, since for some it is a new era and the change comes, for others, it is just a continuation of the same system.

On the other hand there is a very particular issue that everyone wants to know, and that is if the relationship between Cuba and the United States ever be improved. With President Donald Trump in charge in the U.S., it does not look like much good will happen even with a new Cuban leader present.

Something that can clarify the doubts is through the definition of who replaces Raul Castro. A long list of names has been made, including people from the structures of the Communist Party of Cuba, and also from relatives of Fidel Castro who might surprise.

The big favorite is Miguel Diaz-Canel, the current vice president of Cuba, who was also Minister of Higher Education in 2009. (See: "What To Expect Now That Elections Are Over in Cuba," published in Trillions on March 18, 2018). If he is elected, it would only mean power transferred from one dictator to another, there would be continuity of an ideology similar to what Raul and Fidel Castro had followed for decades.

While uncertainty prevails over perspective and expectations, the transition on April 19 is real, and a new president will take over without Castro’s last name.