Raul Castro Becomes Cuba’s New Leader

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After almost a half century as Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro has resigned. Talks about radical change are dismal as his brother, Raul Castro is now in charge of the nation after being named president on Sunday, February 24.

While Fidel is known for his dramatic speeches, Raul is more business like. Raul Castro was defense minister for Cuba, keeping Fidel’s opposition in its place. However, some see him as a reformer, where he may allow for some freedom of speech.

Raul Castro recently allowed a group of students to speak their mind about the poverty in Cuba and how there’s no hope. Only time will tell, what Raul Castro does for Cuba. The younger Castro is 76 years old.
Fidel Castro outlasted ten U.S. presidential administrations, starting with President Dwight Eisenhower and including President Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and current president George W. Bush.

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According to an AP report, Castro opened up 10,000 new schools and started a universal health care system. He backed revolutions in Latin America and Africa. However, labor unions lost the right to rebel, newspapers were closed, and religious institutions were punished.

Rather than face opposition, many Cubans fled to the United States, where they sought asylum. We do know that one daughter of Fidel’s, Alina Fernandez Revuelta, who is very critical of him and now lives in the United States.

In the United States, Castro is seen as the enemy, in Cuba, he’s a hero. Both can agree that Fidel Castro’s past fifty years will be discussed long after his death.

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A Timeline On Fidel’s Life:

August 23, 1926, Fidel Castro is born in Biran, Holguin Province, Cuba
►1953- Castro leads an unsuccessful revolt against Fulgencio Batista
►1956- Castro lands in Eastern Cuba from Mexico and aided by Che Guevera fights a guerilla war
►1959- Castro takes over becoming president, brother Raul is named second in command, and Che third in command
►1960- All businesses are nationalized; United States brakes off relations
►1961- United States helps Cuban exiles fight at the Bay of Pigs, the attack is unsuccessful
►1962- Cuban missile crisis, Castro allows Soviet Union to bring missiles; conflict resolved when USSR takes out the missiles
►1976- Cuba has a new constitution
►1976-1981- Cuba helps Angola’s leftist MPLA; Cuba also helps Ethiopia with troops
►1980- 125,000 ex-convicts flee Castro and go to the United States
►1991- Soviet officials leave Cuba, following breakup of the Soviet Union
►2006, July- Fidel undergoes gastric surgery and temporarily gives power to Raul
►2008, February – Fidel Castro resigns, Raul is named new president

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