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Cubans go to polls in first step toward post-Castro future

Cuba polls
Cuban voters line up outside a polling station in Santa Clara. Photo by YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images.

Nearly 7 million Cubans, or 78.5% of eligible voters, participated in one-party parliamentary elections Sunday that will ultimately help choose the nation's next president, reports Telesur. Those elected to the 605 member National Assembly will vote April 16 to choose a new Council of State, a 31-member executive body headed by the president.

  • Why it matters: Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel is widely expected to be named president, marking the first time in six decades that someone not named Castro will rule Cuba.
  • But, but, but: Sunday's one-party elections indicate the Communist government will remain firmly in power for the foreseeable future, especially as Raúl Castro continues to serve as secretary of the party. Even as the island's economy flounders under the weight of international sanctions, Diaz-Canel is expected to carry out the same agenda Cuba has followed for the past 60 years.
Khorri Atkinson 8 hours ago
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China slaps reciprocal tariffs on U.S. imports

China's President Xi Jinping speaks next to President Trump. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri// AFP / Getty Images

China announced plans to impose reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the U.S., hours after President Trump ordered levies on a range of Chinese goods.

The details: China's plan includes a 25% tariff on U.S. pork imports as well as 15% tariffs on American steel pipes, fruit and wine, according to Bloomberg.

Khorri Atkinson 10 hours ago
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Meet John Bolton, Trump's new national security adviser

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference last month. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Trump said Thursday that national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who's resigning, will be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hawkish former United States ambassador to the United Nations.