Raúl Castro
President of Cuba
Raúl Castro
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who has been President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008; he previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008.
Biography
Raúl Castro's personal information overview.
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Castro: Cuba can work with Trump if sovereignty respected
Yahoo News - 27 days
BAVARO, Dominican Republic (AP) — President Raul Castro expressed Cuba's willingness to continue negotiations with President Donald Trump's new administration but warned that his country would not concede any of its sovereignty.
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Yahoo News article
Cuba seeks 'respectful' talks with Trump govt: Castro
Yahoo News - 27 days
Cuba is willing to hold "respectful dialogue" with Donald Trump, President Raul Castro said Wednesday, following the new US leader's warnings that he may halt the two countries' rapprochement. "I wish to express Cuba's desire to continue negotiating on current bilateral issues with the United States on a basis of equality, reciprocity and respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country," Castro said. Castro, 85, was addressing a summit of the 33-nation Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), meeting in the Dominican Republic.
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Yahoo News article
Cuba, U.S. Agree to Work Together to Fight Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, Other Crimes
Yahoo News - about 1 month
Cuba and the United States on Monday signed an agreement to cooperate in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and other international criminal activities on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. President Barack Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who helped negotiate the normalization of relations between the two countries begun two years ago, was present for the signing, according to the White House. At times, Cuban President Raúl Castro appeared defensive and even flustered when questioned by American reporters in Havana.
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Cuba’s Raul Castro meets with U.S. Chamber of Commerce president
Yahoo News - about 1 month
By Marc Frank HAVANA (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce met with Cuban President Raul Castro and in separate meetings with members of Castro's economic cabinet on Friday, as they prepare for the advent of a more hostile Trump administration next week. The chamber has been urging the Cuban government to sign a number of agreements with major companies such as General Electric , negotiated over the last 18 months, before President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20. A brief government statement said chamber President Thomas Donohue and Castro discussed “issues of mutual interest." “The goal of the U.S. business community has shifted from seeking more from Cuba to preserving what exists from the soon-to-be Trump administration,” John Kavulich, president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, said.
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A Year Of U.S. Militarism
Huffington Post - about 2 months
One of the most alarming developments in U.S. foreign policy in 2016 was the ratcheting up of the new iteration of the Cold War. Looking back at U.S. foreign policy in this last year of Barack Obama’s presidential tenure, other weighty developments include the ongoing proxy war in Syria, the U.S.-supported Saudi-led bombing in Yemen, U.S. use of drones and manned bombers in Libya, U.S. bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan, unprecedented U.S. military aid to Israel, U.S. special operations in Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen, U.S. saber-rattling against China in the South China Sea, and steps toward normalization of relations with Cuba. The intensification of Cold War dynamics became particularly apparent in March, when the U.S. government announced it would significantly increase the number of troops stationed in Eastern Europe, a direct provocation of Russia. Reuters called the expanded positioning of NATO troops and military equipment in that region the “biggest military build-up ...
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Huffington Post article
Citizens... Time To Tighten Your Belts
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Raúl Castro will preside this January over his first parade, similar to the one shown here, without the shadow of his brother. (EFE / Archive) 14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 29 December 2016 -- My generation knows no good news. We grew up with the grey subsidies of the rationed market, we reached puberty amid the rigors of the Special Period, we raised our children in a country with two currencies, and now they warn us that times of economic stress are coming. It appears there is no respite from this long sequence of disasters, collapses and cuts that we have suffered for decades. This December the National Assembly of People's Power acknowledged the negative numbers that reality made clear long ago: Cuba is not growing, production is not recovering, and the so-call Raulist reforms have not given citizens a better life. The island is heading toward the abyss of defaults, cuts in vital sectors of the economy, and continued stagnation. In other places, the rulers would ...
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Huffington Post article
Cuba Bans Naming Statues Or Public Places After Fidel Castro
Huffington Post - about 2 months
HAVANA, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Cuba’s National Assembly approved a law on Tuesday that bans commemorative statues of Fidel Castro and naming public places after him, in accordance with the wishes of the revolutionary leader, who died last month. Castro always said he did not want a cult of personality, although critics point out that the cult was everywhere. His words are posted on billboards nationwide and his name is invoked at every public event. “His fighting spirit will remain in the conscience of all Cuban revolutionaries, today, tomorrow and always,” President Raul Castro, Fidel’s younger brother, told the Assembly, according to excerpts of his speech published by official media. The best way to pay homage to “El Comandante” - the commander - is to follow his concept of revolution, the president said. The new law does not ban artists from using Fidel Castro’s figure in music, literature, dance, cinema or other visual arts, official media specified. Photos of him hangin ...
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Huffington Post article
Cuban President Raul Castro faces deep problems in 2017
Yahoo News - about 2 months
HAVANA (AP) — Alex Romero was delighted when President Barack Obama came to Havana in March bearing the promise of a bright new future.
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Yahoo News article
After Castro's death, dissidents see changes ahead
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Sarah Marsh SANTIAGO, Cuba (Reuters) - Now that Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro is dead, one of his most prominent critics says he sees big economic and political changes to the one-party Communist system, perhaps within four years. Jose Daniel Ferrer, who leads the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the country's largest dissident group, says he does not expect Communist rule to crumble quickly but that change will surely come. "We will have more repression in the short term," Ferrer told Reuters, predicting President Raul Castro would tighten government control in order to stave off demands for political reform after his elder brother Fidel's death on Nov. 25.
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Yahoo News article
Here's Why Trump Should Continue Obama's Progress on the Opening With Cuba
Huffington Post - 3 months
With his customary sense of drama, Fidel Castro managed, finally, to exit the stage in Cuba just as Donald Trump emerged to take the spotlight of U.S. politics as president-elect. After taking power in Havana in January 1959, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president of the U.S., Castro went on to outlast 10 U.S. presidencies. Since his illness in 2006, Fidel has been gradually moving off center stage, but he has still written occasional commentaries, sniping at hints of economic reforms and rapprochement with the U.S., making occasional ceremonial appearances and meeting with foreign dignitaries. Now, finally, Fidel has passed away. Cubans as well as Cuban Americans and others around the world wonder how Cuba will evolve after him, and what role the U.S. can and should play in Cuba’s transition to a post-Castro world. Immediate reactions in Miami to Fidel’s death suggest that there are still a few Cuban refugees who cling to the dream of returning, reclaiming their property and ...
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Huffington Post article
Take the Icon, Leave Us The Ashes: On Fidel Castro's Death And Its Cuban Survivors
Huffington Post - 3 months
Fidel Castro left on the night of November 25th. Where did he go? After watching the deluge of lachrymose obituaries and jubilant parties throughout the world, paradise and hell seem to be the two most popular destinations waiting, after a nine-day commemorative pilgrimage from Havana to the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba, for the ashes of the 90-year old leader of the Cuban revolution. Paradise or hell? His followers and his opponents used to argue against each other from their respective podiums. Whether in Havana's Revolution Square or in Miami's Cuban restaurant Versailles, their deafening noises have triumphed over any possibility of a clear and productive reasoning. Paradise or hell, or paradise and hell, it doesn't matter after all. For me, what is really important right now are the survivors: a multitude of Cubans of all ages, races, cultures, political and religious beliefs scattered over five continents, surrounded by voices from all over the world ...
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Huffington Post article
Cubans cheer Castro's ashes on last journey across island
Yahoo News - 3 months
By Sarah Marsh and Diego Oré JOVELLANOS, Cuba (Reuters) - Feted by cheering Cubans, a funeral cortege carried the ashes of Fidel Castro out of Havana on Wednesday on a three-day journey to his final resting place in the east of the island where he launched the Cuban Revolution six decades ago. Cubans on the roadside chanted "Fidel!" and waved small Cuban flags, displaying revolutionary zeal or nationalist pride for a man who ruled Cuba for 49 years with a mix of charisma and iron will, creating a Communist state at the U.S. doorstep and becoming a central figure in the Cold War. Castro died on Friday at age 90, a decade after stepping down due to poor health and ceding power to his brother, current Cuban President Raul Castro, 85.
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Raúl Castro
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    On 20 March 2016, Obama made a visit to Cuba to meet with Castro.
    More Details Hide Details It was the first visit of a sitting U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years.
  • 2015
    The pope visited Cuba before his September 2015 visit to the United States.
    More Details Hide Details Castro claimed that he would do the following when Pope Francis came to Cuba: "I promise to go to all his Masses and with satisfaction."
    After a meeting with Pope Francis in Vatican City on 10 May 2015, Castro said that he is considering returning to the Roman Catholic Church.
    More Details Hide Details He said in a televised news conference, "I read all the speeches of the pope, his commentaries, and if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the Catholic church. I am not joking."
  • 2014
    On 17 December 2014, Castro and Obama made separate announcements that efforts to normalize relations between the two nations would begin with the re-establishment of embassies in Havana and Washington.
    More Details Hide Details The embassies had previously been dissolved in 1961 after Cuba became closely allied with the USSR. The rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba was facilitated by Argentine-born Pope Francis, who allowed the Vatican to be used for secret negotiations. There were simultaneous public announcements by Castro and Obama about the progress toward normalization. On 20 July 2015, Cuba and the United States officially resumed full diplomatic relations with the "Cuban interests section" in Washington, D.C., and the "U.S. interests section" in Havana being upgraded to embassies.
  • 2013
    On 10 December 2013, Castro, in a significant moment shook hands and greeted American President Barack Obama at the Nelson Mandela memorial service in Johannesburg.
    More Details Hide Details
    On 24 February 2013, Cuba's parliament named Raúl Castro to a new five-year term as president and Miguel Díaz-Canel his first vice president.
    More Details Hide Details He announced that day he would step down from power after his second term as president ends in 2018. Raúl Castro said in a 2008 interview "The American people are among our closest neighbors. We should respect each other. We have never held anything against the American people. Good relations would be mutually advantageous. Perhaps we cannot solve all of our problems, but we can solve a good many of them."
    Castro was re-elected President on 24 February 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, Castro announced that his second term would be his final term, and that he would not seek re-election in 2018. Born in Birán, Cuba, the son of a Galician immigrant father, Ángel Castro, and a Cuban-born mother of Canarian parentage, Lina Ruz, Raúl is the youngest of the three Castro brothers: Ramón, Fidel, and himself. He also has four sisters, Angela, Juanita, Emma, and Agustina. Ángel Castro's first wife, Maria Argota, also raised five half siblings of Raúl: Pedro Emilio, Maria Lidia, Manuel, Antonia and Georgina. As children, the Castro brothers were expelled from the first school they attended. Like Fidel, Raúl later attended the Jesuit School of Colegio Dolores in Santiago and Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Havana. Raúl, as an undergraduate, studied social sciences. Whereas Fidel excelled as a student, Raúl turned in mostly mediocre performances. Raúl became a committed socialist and joined the Socialist Youth, an affiliate of the Soviet-oriented Cuban Communist Party, Partido Socialista Popular (PSP). The brothers participated actively in sometimes violent student actions.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    In March 2009, Raúl Castro dismissed some officials. In April 2011, Raúl announced a plan of 300 economic reforms similar to the Chinese economic model, among them the limitation of presidential mandates including himself, encouraging private initiative, reducing state spending, encouraging foreign investment and agrarian reforms.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2008
    In March 2008, the government removed restrictions against the purchase of numerous products not available under Fidel Castro's administration including DVD-players, computers, rice cookers and microwaves.
    More Details Hide Details In an effort to boost food production, the government turned over unused state-owned land to private farmers and cooperatives and moved much of the decision-making process regarding land use from the national level to the municipal level. In mid-2008, the government overhauled the salary structure of all state-run companies so that harder-working employees could be rewarded with higher wages. In addition, the government has removed restrictions against the use of cell phones and is investigating travel restrictions on Cubans.
    Raúl Castro was officially made President by the National Assembly on 24 February 2008, after Fidel Castro, who was still ailing, announced his intention not to stand for President again on 19 February 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Raúl Castro became First Secretary of the Communist Party at its Sixth Congress on 19 April 2011, having previously served as Second Secretary under his brother for 46 years.
  • 2006
    In an interview in 2006, following his assumption of presidential duties, Raúl Castro commented on his public profile stating: "I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required...
    More Details Hide Details I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way". In an interview with actor Sean Penn, Raúl Castro was described as "warm, open, energetic and sharp of wit".
    Raúl is considered by some to be less charismatic than his brother Fidel Castro, who remained largely out of public view during the transfer of duty period. His few public appearances included hosting a gathering of leaders of the Non-Aligned nations in September 2006, and leading the national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Granma boat landing, which also became Fidel's belated 80th birthday celebrations.
    More Details Hide Details In a speech to university students, Raúl stated that a communist system in Cuba would remain, and that "Fidel is irreplaceable, unless we all replace him together." On 1 May 2007, Raúl presided over the May Day celebrations in Havana. According to Granma the crowd reached over one million participants, with delegations from over 225 organizations and 52 countries. Raúl is known for his businesslike, unanimated delivery of speeches. After assuming what was envisioned as a temporary control over the presidency, Raúl Castro was elected as the new President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers during a legislative session held at Cuba's Palace of Conventions in Havana. The 597 deputies unanimously elected a 31-member Council of State for a term of five years, which in turn elected Raúl as president. His administration has since announced several economic reforms.
    On 31 July 2006, Fidel Castro's personal secretary Carlos Valenciaga announced on state-run television that Fidel Castro would provisionally hand over the duties of First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (party chief), President of the Council of State of Cuba (head of state), President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba (prime minister), and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to Raúl Castro while Fidel underwent and recovered from intestinal surgery to repair gastrointestinal bleeding.
    More Details Hide Details Many commentators consider Raúl Castro to be a political hardliner who will maintain the Communist Party of Cuba's influence in the country. However, there are others who believe that he is more pragmatic than his older brother and willing to institute some market-oriented economic policies. It is speculated that he favours a variant of the current Chinese political and economic model for Cuba in the hopes of preserving some elements of the socialist system. However, none of these speculations has ever been confirmed by Raúl himself.
    On 31 July 2006, Raúl Castro was designated as the President of the Council of State in a temporary transfer of power, due to Fidel Castro's illness. According to the Cuban Constitution of 1976, Article 94, the Vice President of the Council of State assumes presidential duties upon the illness or death of the President.
    More Details Hide Details
    Castro previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Castro is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, and Air Force), and has also been First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) since 2011. Castro is the nation's highest ranking general. Raúl Castro was a rebel commander during the 1950s. After his brother Fidel Castro took power, Raúl Castro was one of the most important figures in the party, serving as Minister of the Armed Forces for 49 years, from 1959 to 2008.
  • OTHER
  • 1959
    He was appointed Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces when the Ministry was founded in October 1959 and served in that capacity until February 2008.
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    Castro married Vilma Espín, a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology chemical engineering student and the daughter of a wealthy rum distiller, on 26 January 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Vilma became president of the Cuban Federation of Women. They have three daughters (Déborah, Mariela and Nilsa) and one son (Alejandro) Castro Espín. Their daughter Mariela currently heads the Cuban National Center for Sex Education, while Déborah is married to Colonel Luis Alberto Rodríguez, head of the Armed Forces' economic division. Vilma Espín died on 18 June 2007; a daughter and some relatives of Raúl are believed to reside in Italy.
    The war was over and Fidel was able to take power in Havana when he arrived on 8 January 1959.
    More Details Hide Details Raúl's abilities as a military leader during the revolution are hard to see clearly. Unlike Che Guevara or Cienfuegos, Raúl had no significant victories he could claim credit for on his own. The last operations (which were clearly successful) were conducted with his older brother Fidel present (and in command). After Batista's fall, Raúl had the task of overseeing the summary execution of scores of soldiers loyal to deposed president Batista. Raúl Castro Ruz was a member of the national leadership of the Integrated Revolutionary PO Organizations (established July 1961; dissolved March 1962) and of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba (established March 1962; dissolved October 1965). He is also credited with helping shoot down a Lockheed U2 and killing Major Rudolf Anderson. He served as a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and as the Second Secretary of its Politburo from the Party's formation in October 1965; also as the First Vice President of the Cuban Council of State, of the National Assembly of People's Power, and of the Council of Ministers from when these were established in 1976.
    In response to the victory by Che Guevara at the Battle of Santa Clara, the U.S.-backed President Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba in the early morning of 1 January 1959.
    More Details Hide Details The two Castro brothers with their army arrived on the outskirts of Santiago de Cuba and said their forces would storm the city at 6 PM 1 January if it did not first surrender. The commander (Colonel Rego Rubido) surrendered Santiago de Cuba without a fight.
  • 1958
    On 26 June 1958, Raúl Castro’s rebels kidnapped ten Americans and two Canadians from the property of Moa Bay Mining Company (an American company) on the north coast of Oriente Province.
    More Details Hide Details The next day rebels took hostage 24 US servicemen on leave from the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay. This incident brought total kidnapped hostages to 36 (34 US and 2 Canadian citizens). US Ambassador Smith and his staff determined the kidnappings had the following objectives: Obtain worldwide publicity, regain M-26-7 prestige lost by general strike call failure, force Batista's Air Force to stop bombing rebel holds, and gain public recognition from the US. Two tactical objectives the kidnapping achieved for Castro forces can be discerned from contemporaneous reporting in Time: Batista declaring a ceasefire for negotiations, forcing a reduction in Operation Verano air raids; the rebels used the lulls to regroup and fly in arms. The hostage-taking caused significant US backlash, including unfavorable public reaction, and US consideration to re-establishing military support to Batista and deploying US forces to free the hostages. Ultimately, the hostages were released in very small groups, extracting the maximum press attention.
  • 1953
    In 1953, Raúl served as a member of the 26th of July Movement group that attacked the Moncada Barracks; he spent 22 months in prison as a result of this action.
    More Details Hide Details During his exile in Mexico, he participated in the preparations for the expedition of the boat Granma to Cuba. When the Granma landing failed and the 82 expeditionaries were detected by government troops soon after, Raúl was one of only 21 fighters who managed to reach a safe haven in the Sierra Maestra mountains, forming the core of the nascent rebel army (see the Cuban Revolution). As Fidel's brother and trusted right-hand man, and given his proven leadership abilities during and after the Moncada attack, he was given progressively bigger commands. On 27 February 1958, Raúl was made comandante and assigned the mission to cross the old province of Oriente leading a column of guerrillas to open, to the northeast of that territory, the "Frank País Eastern Front." As a result of Raúl's "Eastern Front" operations, he was not involved in the pivotal Operation Verano (which came close to destroying the main body of fighters but ended up a spectacular victory for Fidel). However, Raúl's forces remained active and grew over time.
    Raúl Castro's travels and contact with Soviet KGB agent Nikolai Leonov—whom he met in 1953 during a trip to the Soviet-bloc nations and again in 1955 during his exile in Mexico City—facilitated Cuba's close ties with the Soviets after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
    More Details Hide Details Leonov would later become the USSR's KGB man in Havana.
  • 1931
    Born on June 3, 1931.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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