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A different style was on display March 11 as a crowd of reporters, voters and nervous provincial apparatchiks waited outside a voting station in the central city of Santa Clara for Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the Communist Party official expected to take Castro's place as Cuba's next president this week.Diaz-Canel, who turns 58 Friday, would be the first non-Castro to hold Cuba's top government office since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul.Since power in Communist Cuba has long flowed from personalities more than institutions, how much influence Diaz-Canel will actually wield is an open question that has many observers looking at his past for clues.Until March, Diaz-Canel had said nothing to the Cuban people about the type of president he would be.That image has begun to change slightly this year as Diaz-Canel stepped into the moderate limelight offered by Cuba's Soviet-style state media. Residents told the Associated Press this month that Diaz-Canel was the first official they remembered who didn't move to a new government-provided home after becoming first secretary.Diaz-Canel was known for bringing his children to the club, an unusual assertion of support in a society with deeply rooted antipathy toward homosexuals.In 2003, Diaz-Canel was named first secretary of the eastern province of Holguin, where he ran into complaints.In 2003, Diaz-Canel was also named to the Communist Party's Politburo, one of its highest-ranking bodies.
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