Raul Castro Cuba President
The 81-year-old Castro also said he hopes to create two-term limits and age caps for political offices like the presidency - a huge prospect for a nation led by Castro or his older brother Fidel since 1959 revolution.
Some constitutional changes are to be so dramatic that they'll have to be ratified with the Cuban people a public referendum, he was quoted saying, though he added he has not been named president in order to destroy Cuba's socialist system.
Cuba is a an instant of "historic transcendence," Castro told lawmakers in speaking of his decision to name Diaz-Canel for the No. 2 job. "It represents a definitive step up the configuration of the future leadership of the us over the gradual transfer ... of key roles to new generations."
"This will probably be my last term," he explained. Castro's term can easily in 2018.
The 52-year-old Diaz-Canel is now a heartbeat in the presidency and it has risen higher than every other Cuban official who didn't directly take part in the 1959 Cuban revolution.
Raul Castro fueled fascination with Sunday's legislative gathering after mentioning on Friday his possible retirement and suggesting lightheartedly that they had plans to resign at some point.
It is now clear that although he was joking about retiring soon, he was dead serious as he promised that Sunday's speech would've fireworks.
In recent weeks, Diaz-Canel, a power engineer by training and former minister of upper education, has frequently been featured on Cuban state television news broadcasts in a apparent try to raise his profile ahead of the announcement.
Diaz-Canel traveled to Venezuela for your symbolic inauguration of Hugo Chavez, a vital Castro ally who was simply re-elected president but was too ill to be sworn in. Diaz-Canel seemed to be seen on TV presiding over a ceremony involving Cuba's national baseball squad, and accompanied Castro to Chile to get a summit with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Lawmakers also named on the ruling Council of State Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Castro's previous first second in command; comptroller general Gladys Bejerano; second Vp Ramiro Valdes; Havana Communist Party secretary Lazara Mercedes Lopez Acea; and Salvador Valdes Mesa, head of Cuba's labor union.