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Putin congratulates Miguel Diaz-Canel on accession to Cuba’s presidency

The Russian president wished him good health and success

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. In a phone call, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Miguel Diaz-Canel on being elected as Cuba’s president and also wished him a happy birthday, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.

Besides, Putin had a conversation with Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

"While discussing results of the session of the National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba held on April 18-19, Russia confirmed its readiness to provide assistance to the Cuban leadership in carrying out a policy of social and economic modernization of the country," the statement says.

"The president sincerely congratulated Miguel Diaz-Canel on accession to Cuba’s presidency and wished him a happy birthday. Also, he wished him good health and success in his top-level duties," the press service said.

"Miguel Diaz-Canel underscored adherence to a policy aimed at the all-out strengthening of multifaceted ties with Russia," the Kremlin said. They "emphasized a shared aspiration to implement bilateral projects persistently, primarily in the energy and transport infrastructure sectors."

Putin thanked sincerely Raul Castro for many years of their joint work and his huge personal contribution to a deeper strategic partnership between Cuba and Russia.

On Thursday, Miguel Diaz-Canel was elected President of Cuba’s Council of State and therefore President of the Republic of Cuba. His election to the position was announced later in the day at a session of the National Assembly of People’s Power, the Cuban one-chamber parliament. As many as 603 deputies of the 604 taking part in the session voted in favor of Diaz-Canel.

Under the provisions of Cuba’s Constitution, the President of the Council of State, who is elected for a five-year term of office, performs the functions of President and Prime Minister of the country.

Diaz-Canel, a former electrical engineer, Education Minister and Vice President, took over from the 86-year-old Raul Castro who had held the position since 2008.

Former President Raul Castro will remain at the helm of Cuba’s Communist Party, the only official political organization in the country. Raul Castro does not rule out that Diaz-Canel might lead the Communist Party on after 2021.