Don't Expect Another Cuban Revolution

Raul is no Fidel, but is expected to stay on brother's course
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 2:45 PM CST
Don't Expect Another Cuban Revolution
Raul Castro speaks to lawmakers after being elected president of the State Council, Cuba's governing body, by Cuba's National Assembly in Havana, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008. Raul replaces his 81-year-old brother Fidel Castro. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco,Prensa Latina)   (Associated Press)

You won't see him wearing fatigues and making fiery speeches, but Raul Castro is expected to hew closely to brother Fidel's line. Cuba's new president is a pragmatic military man who lacks his brother's charisma and ego, the New York Times reports. Fidel is still party leader, and 31 Castro allies were reelected in uncontested races to top government positions along with him.

Raul said yesterday the bureaucracy in Havana needs to be streamlined. "We should never believe that what we have done is perfect," he told the National Assembly. “Today a more compact structure is required.” He said he would cut some regulations to stimulate the struggling economy, but Cubans hold out little hope of improvement. "The same nonsense continues," one cab driver and former revolutionary said. (Read more Cuba stories.)

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