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A woman walks past a fading revolutionary mural in Havana. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP/Getty Images

Cuba's National Assembly has cleared the way for Miguel Diaz-Canel to become president, meaning a leader not named Castro will take the office for the first time in six decades.

Why it matters: Diaz-Canel is Raul Castro's hand-picked successor — and, at 57, he is nearly 30 years younger than his octogenarian predecessor. This move is "the centerpiece of an effort to ensure that the country’s single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it," per the AP.

Yes, but: Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel as president in 2006, will remain head of the Communist Party, so Diaz-Canel's ascension is largely a symbolic one for the time being.

Smart takes
  • From the Economist: "Mr Díaz-Canel, an engineer by training, has sent mixed signals about whether he is a reformer or a reactionary. Whatever his instincts may be, he will be influenced by forces that pull in opposite directions. On the one hand, the economy needs to be unshackled if it is to provide Cubans with better living standards. On the other, the Communist Party is loth to give up control, or to allow the rise of an elite that might compete with it."
  • From Bloomberg: "The end of the Castros' era is an opportunity for change, and Diaz-Canel has every reason to try to seize it. Cuba's economy is in a truly dismal state. After years of poor performance, output fell in 2016 and continues to lag the country's neighbors and peers."
  • From the Washington Post: "Cuban television announcers used buzzwords such as 'unity' and 'continuity' in their broadcasts. State media tweeted under the hashtag #SomosContinuidad (We are continuity). The message to the populous was clear: The end of an era with a Castro as head of state does not mean the end of Cuba’s communist system."

Go deeper

Rohingya refugees sue Facebook over Myanmar hate speech

Internally displaced Rohingya peoples at a market area in the Baw Du Pha IDP Camp in Sittwe in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Rohingya refugees accused Facebook in a $150 million lawsuit filed Monday of amplifying hate speech against the persecuted minority Muslims in Myanmar via algorithms and failing to take down inflammatory posts.

Why it matters: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been killed in Myanmar in what the United Nations deemed a genocidal campaign. Tens of thousands of others have been displaced, notably following a massacre by Myanmar's military in 2017.

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.