by Pedro Martínez Pírez
25 February translated by Walter Lippmann
Photo: An election official gives a man ballot papers at a special polling station set up in Havana's main train station February 3, 2013. Cubans go to polls to elect National Assembly representatives.
Cuba on Monday woke up with a new Parliament, renewed by 67 percent and made up of 612 national deputies, which include workers, farmers, teachers, doctors, scientists, writers, artists, religious leaders, students, political leaders, businessmen, sportsmen and military, with an average of 48 years old.
About half of the deputies in the National Assembly of People's Power are women, more than 82 percent have college educations and 37 percent are black, among the latter the new Parliament President Esteban Lazo Hernandez, who replaced as president of the top legislature to Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, who held office for twenty years, and hereafter who will continue his talented work dedicated to the defense of the five Cuban prisoners of the empire.
The deputies, including the historic leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro, who was in the Palace of Conventions in Havana and read a beautiful message, Raul Castro reaffirmed his position as President of the State Council, and as a new first vice president of Cuba, elected to the engineer - -52 - Miguel Diaz Canel, replacing Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, who continues as one of five vice presidents of this integrated national totalling 31 seats. Diaz Canel was also elected as First Vice President of the Council of Ministers, which means it is the second figure of the Cuban state and government. The State Council is the highest body in Cuba of power between the sessions of the National Assembly. In choosing this Sunday admitted 17 new members in the Council of State, a renovation in excess of fifty percent. In this important organ is the average age of 57 years and are now two of the five women vice presidents.
President Raul Castro was adamant in the closing words of the constitutive session of the new term in the sense that this will be his last term of five years, leading the destinies of Cuba, and called for continuing slowly but surely, in the process of economic and generational renewal aimed at reaching a sustainable and prosperous socialist society, a society less egalitarian but fairer.
He recalled that Cuba has held since the presidency of CELAC since January 28th, (the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States), whose unity in diversity must be preserved, and congratulated President Rafael Correa for his landslide victory on February 17, while that I pray for the health of the head of state of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frias.