Cubans are relieved that the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor has been elected president.

The island nation has benefitted from billions of dollars in subsidized oil under Chavez. New President Nicolas Maduro is seen as an ideological ally who will want to continue the countries' special relationship.

But Maduro's razor-thin victory margin has his rival demanding a recount, and experts warn that Cuba's relief could be short-lived.

Cuban President Raul Castro was among the first to congratulate Maduro in a note that was published Monday in Communist Party newspaper Granma.