Cubans are headed to the polls this weekend. They’re expected to affirm the Communist Party’s nominees for Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power, the country’s 612-member legislative body.
Next month, the assembly will elect Cuba’s first president outside of the revolutionary Castro family. Raúl Castro succeeded his brother, Fidel, as president in 2008. But the 86-year-old is one of the few remaining leaders of the 1959 revolution against a U.S.-backed regime.
Castro cites his old age in the decision to step aside. He imposed term limits on his office in 2012, and can’t seek re-election. He’ll still remain chairman of Cuba’s Communist Party, though. A slightly younger generation that was raised after the revolution is likely to assume more power in the coming years. They’re still devoted communists like Cuban Vice President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who’s likely to succeed Raúl Castro. Last year, he said Cuba “will not make any concessions” to the U.S.
To discuss, we’re joined by Alberto Coll, a professor of law at DePaul University. Under George H.W. Bush, he was principal deputy assistant secretary of defense. At the age of 6, he witnessed his father’s arrest for opposing the Cuban government.