Cuba Enters the Post-Fidel Era

February 26, 2008 08:24 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Raul Castro has officially been elected as Cuba’s next President. Will a new Castro pave the way for change?

30-Second Summary

Cuba’s National Assembly unanimously selected Raul Castro as the country’s new president on Sunday.

Raul succeeds Fidel Castro, who stepped down last week after 49 years in power.

The 76-year-old didn’t stray far from his older brother’s cadre to choose his vice president, picking 78-year-old Machado Ventura, one of the original leaders of Cuba’s communist revolution.

The news has prompted analysts and news writers to weigh in on whether Cuba’s new leadership will foster change in the island nation.

Clarence Page writes in the Houston Chronicle that Raul Castro, despite possessing his own brand of “ruthlessness,” has already “begun to sow the seeds of a post-Fidel Cuba.”

Although Raul Castro clearly stated in his first speech as president that he would continue to consult his brother on important decisions, The New York Times suggests that he is a very different man from his brother.

Raul Castro has a “reputation as a consensus builder, a man who listens closely to his advisers, delegates authority and holds his underlings accountable for their decisions,” the Times writes.

Newsweek reports that while change will be slow going, the inauguration of a new American president next year could prove the best “opportunity for mending fences” since 1959, “when the Castro brothers were young men and a half-century of Communist dictatorship was about to begin.”

Headline Link: Raul Castro takes the reins

Background: ‘Castro Declines to Name Successor’

Opinion & Analysis: Raul Castro, harbinger of change?

Biography: Raul Castro


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