>> Cuba's National Assembly on Thursday swore in a new president to lead the nation, ending nearly 60 years of rule by the Castro brothers. The new leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel, is a Communist party stalwart facing an uncertain future. Can he both preserve Cuban socialism while promoting change?
Reuters correspondent Sara Marsh is in Havana.>> As a young party chief in his home province of Villaclara in the 1990s, he bucked party orthodoxy by supporting a gay-friendly cultural center, sporting long hair and listening to foreign rock music. Ultimately, though, he appears to be a consensus candidate, handpicked by Raul Castro, who has earned his trust by working his way up party ranks the last three decades and by sticking to the party line on key political and economic issues.
>> Diaz-Canel takes power as Cuba's relationship with United States takes a nosedive. President Donald Trump has reversed some of the measures aimed at detente begun under President Barack Obama. Washington has reduced the staffing at its Havana embassy to its lowest levels since the 1970s, due to unexplained illnesses and hearing loss among its diplomats.
Analysts don't expect Diaz-Canel will change Cuba's system of one-party rule, which censors much of its opposition. But there will be pressure on him to improve the economy. And lacking the clout of a Castro, Diaz-Canel's legitimacy will depend on whether or not he's able to improve Cubans' daily lives.