Miguel Diaz-Canel, a 57-year-old Communist Party official and currently the first vice president, is expected to be confirmed as successor to the presidency on Thursday.
Cuba's National Assembly will elect a new president and announce Raul Castro's replacement, in a two-day process that will install someone from outside the Castro family in the highest government office for the first time in nearly six decades.
Although Fidel Castro’s socialist reforms continue to contribute to a highly educated and healthy population, most Cubans lack purchasing power.
The number of American tourists who travelled to the Caribbean island by air have nearly halved, but those arriving by cruise ship almost doubled last year.
On April 19, the long awaited generational shift in Cuban politics will happen: none of the leaders of the Communist-ruled island’s next government are likely to be elderly former fighters from the 1959 leftist revolution.
US President Donald Trump has recently reintroduced restrictions for Americans travelling to Cuba. The move hits Cuba's already shrinking state-run economy.
Capitol, an imposing neoclassical gem previously shunned as a symbol of US imperialism now to become the seat of Cuba's national assembly in the capital Havana.
An artist's project dubbed "Habana Light Neon + Signs", is restoring the vintage signs of the cinemas, hotels and cabarets that lit up Havana's nightlife in its 1950s heyday.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has announced a series of agreements with Cuba, saying member countries combined were now Cuba's most important economic partner.
Fidel Castro, a towering figure of the 20th century who built a Communist-run state on the doorstep of the United States and defied US efforts to topple him, died aged 90 on November 25 last year.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Washington will maintain diplomatic relations even though the size of the US mission in Havana would be reduced to a minimum.
The decision, that was taken after "specific attacks" on American diplomats, deals a blow to already delicate ties between the US and Cuba that had recently seen rapprochement.
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