The new Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, assured today that the mandate he initiates will be to give "continuity to the Cuban Revolution in a historical and crucial moment", reported dpa news.
"I am here to work, not to make promises", he said. On Thursday, Díaz-Canel took office as the president of the Councils of State and of Ministers of Cuba for a five-year term before the Legislature of the People's Power National Assembly (Parliament).
He is the island's first leader born after the revolution, and will be 58 on Friday.
The chamber erupted into applause as the results of the poll were read out, with numerous delegates smiling and shaking hands warmly with Castro and Diaz-Canel.
During this speech, Raul Castro listened from the front row of the assembly and at one point he stood up with his arms raised to thunderous applause.
It was a historic, though understated, handover. The Cuban assembly selected the 57-year-old first vice president as the sole candidate to succeed Castro on Wednesday.
Between them, the Castro brothers made the island of more than 11 million people a key player in the Cold War and helped keep communism afloat despite the collapse of the Soviet Union. Instead, he chose a man who wasn't even born when his older brother started a revolution and ultimately took control of Cuba in 1959. Thursday's symbolic vote took place on the anniversary of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, when Fidel's forces defeated 1,400 US-backed rebels seeking to overthrow him.
Havana has long hailed the showdown as American imperialism's first great defeat in Latin America. "'There is no room for those who aspire to a capitalist restoration", he said.
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The United Nations says a record 22.2 million people are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
Castro will remain the head of the ruling Communist Party until 2021 and is expected to continue to play an important role in policy decisions.
Two years after taking over from his ailing brother in 2006, Castro launched a series of reforms that expanded Cuba's private sector to almost 600,000 people and allowed citizens greater freedom to travel and access to information.
In 2015, Havana and Washington renewed diplomatic ties, with then president Barack Obama making a historic visit to the island a year later.
"The United States has no expectation that the Cuban people will see any greater freedoms under Castro's handpicked successor", a White House spokeswoman said.
According to Ted Piccone, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, the Trump administration will most likely "double down" on its "embrace of punitive regime change" in Cuba after Diaz-Canel assumes power.
"Only for those aspiring to continue improving our socialism", Xinhua quoted the President as saying.
She said "It's the whole system that is corrupt".