Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has been elected as the new First Secretary of Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), as the successor to Raul Castro.

The announcement was made on Monday during the final session of the Eighth Congress of the PCC as the island nation marked the 60th anniversary of the victory against the US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The most revolutionary stand inside the revolution is to always defend the (PCC) party, in the same way, the party must be the major defender of the (Cuban) revolution,” said Diaz-Canel while addressing the closing ceremony of the Congress.

During his political career, Diaz-Canel has also served as the first secretary of the provincial party committee of the PCC in the provinces of Villa Clara and Holguin, minister of higher education, vice-president of the Council of Ministers, and first vice-president of the Council of State, among other responsibilities.

The rest of the members of the new Political Bureau, Secretariat, and Central Committee of the PCC were also elected during the session.

Raul Castro was elected to the top position of the PCC in April 2011 succeeding his elder brother and former President Fidel Castro, who had held that position since the founding of the party in 1965.

During the four-day Congress, participants discussed ideology, updating of the Cuban model, internal functioning of the PCC as well as the economic transformations implemented over the past five years on the island.

Diosvany Acosta, first secretary of Cuba’s Young Communist League, told Xinhua that the Cuban youth is committed to actively continuing to participate in the country’s social and economic activities.

“We have played a leading role during the Covid-19 pandemic response. That is the result of principles and values instilled by the Cuban revolution into us,” said Acosta.