Raul Castro Takes Over as Cuban Leader


Anthony Boadle
Reuters
February 24, 2008

Cuba’s new leader Raul Castro vowed it would remain a bastion of revolution as he took over on Sunday from his brother Fidel Castro, who resisted half a century of U.S. attempts to oust him.

Raul Castro, 76, a former hardliner feared for his ruthlessness against his brother’s enemies but who has adopted a softer tone in recent years, nodded and smiled as legislators applauded his election by the rubber-stamp National Assembly.

He is expected to bring some economic reforms and he said he might revalue the peso currency, but in a sign that change is unlikely to be deep or abrupt, Communist Party ideologue Jose Ramon Machado Ventura was named first vice president, or Cuba’s No. 2.

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