The Latest: Cuba opens session to choose new president

The Latest: Cuba opens session to choose new president
People take a selfie in front of the Capitol dome in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. A legislative session on Wednesday will see a historic political transition, in which President Raul Castro plans to step down and hand over the office to a younger successor. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA (AP) — The Latest on the meeting of Cuba’s legislature and the scheduled end of Raul Castro’s presidency (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

Cuba’s legislature has opened a two-day session that is to elect a successor to President Raul Castro.

The new president will be the first person outside the Castro family to lead the island since in nearly six decades.

Legislators erupted in applause Wednesday morning as Castro entered the hall in a dark suit, accompanied by Miguel Diaz-Canel, his expected successor.

Diaz-Canel smiled and joined the applause of the president. Castro is leaving after serving two five-year terms. He succeeded his brother Fidel, who headed Cuba from 1959 to 2006.