Raul Castro

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Fidel Castro Tells Obama He Can Keep His 'Presents'

Ex-Cuban leader writes scathing letter that attacks US, Spaniards—even Obama's age

(Newser) - No one expected President Obama to meet with Fidel Castro during his historic visit to Cuba last week. But while Obama was chatting up and taking in a baseball game with brother Raul Castro, the 89-year-old former revolutionary was penning what the AP calls a "long, bristling letter."... More »

Oldest Castro Brother Dies

Ramon stayed on the farm while Fidel, Raul launched revolution

(Newser) - Ramon Castro, a lifelong rancher and farmer who bore a strong physical resemblance to younger brother Fidel Castro, has died, Cuban state media announced Tuesday. He was 91. Widely known by his nickname "Mongo," the white-bearded Ramon Castro preferred tending crops and livestock to the revolutionary political life... More »

Obama, Castro Will Meet at UN

Second formal meeting Tuesday for US, Cuba leaders

(Newser) - President Barack Obama will hold a formal meeting Tuesday with Cuban President Raul Castro. The meeting comes on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly, a massive gathering of world leaders in New York. It marks the second face-to-face meeting between Obama and Castro since the US and... More »

'Bienvenido!' Francis Welcomes Raul Castro

Pontiff helped drive warming US-Cuban relations, will visit island

(Newser) - Cuban President Raul Castro received a warm welcome at the Vatican today from Pope Francis, who played a key role in the breakthrough between Washington and Havana aimed at restoring US-Cuban diplomatic ties. "Bienvenido!" Francis said in his native Spanish, welcoming Castro in a studio near the Vatican... More »

Fidel Castro Smuggled Coke Into America

Former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez pens book about old boss

(Newser) - Fidel Castro, ragtag communist revolutionary? Not according to a new book that chronicles his alleged luxurious lifestyle and drug-smuggling into the United States. A former bodyguard to Castro, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez—who fled Cuba in 2008 and has made similar allegations before—describes them fully in The Double Life of ... More »

Obama, Castro Break the Ice

The US, Cuba meet for first time in over 50 years

(Newser) - The leaders of the US and Cuba held their first formal meeting in more than half a century today, clearing the way for a normalization of relations that had seemed unthinkable to both Cubans and Americans for generations. In a small conference room in a Panama City convention center, President... More »

Castro: 'Obama Is an Honest Man'

Presidents meet later today

(Newser) - They shook hands last night, and today President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro continued on the same track in public speeches at the Summit of the Americas. Castro, however, first castigated the US by reeling off a list of grievances spanning the decades, reports AP . But then he made... More »

Obama, Castro Shake Hands

It was brief, informal, historic

(Newser) - A simple handshake is making big headlines tonight—because the handshakers were President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro. Reuters quotes a White House official as saying the men shook hands and exchanged some brief chit-chat in Panama during the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas. "This... More »

US, Cuba Hold Highest-Level Meeting in More Than 50 Years

John Kerry met with Cuba's foreign minister last night

(Newser) - The top US and Cuban diplomats have met in Panama in the highest-level meeting between the two governments in more than half a century. The US State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met yesterday evening in Panama City, where the Summit of... More »

Cuba Trots Out New Castro Photos Amid Health Rumors

Ex-Cuban leader reportedly had meeting with student leader on Jan. 23

(Newser) - Fidel Castro is apparently spending his retirement convincing people he's alive: After his silence when the US and Cuba reopened relations spawned rumors about his failing health or even death, he belatedly penned a Jan. 26 letter , AFP reports. Now Cuban state media has released more than 20 photos... More »

Cuba to US: Return Guantanamo Bay

Raul Castro renews demand amid thaw in relations

(Newser) - Cuba is making a renewed push to get Gitmo back. President Raul Castro demanded today that the United States return the US base at Guantanamo Bay, lift the half-century trade embargo on Cuba, and compensate his country for damages before the two nations re-establish normal relations. Castro told a summit... More »

3 Freed Spies Get Heroes' Welcome in Cuba

Still no sign of Fidel in wake of US deal

(Newser) - Three men who served long US prison terms for spying received a standing ovation in Cuba's parliament today, shaking their fists in victory as President Raul Castro declared that detente with Washington won't change the communist system he leads. The last imprisoned members of the "Cuban Five"... More »

Is the Obama-Castro Handshake a Big Deal?

Right fumes over gesture at Mandela memorial

(Newser) - At Nelson Mandela's memorial, President Obama shook hands with the Cuban president, and the media is in a tizzy about it. "The handshake between Obama and Raúl Castro makes the stomach turn," writes Mona Charen at the National Review . "The nature of the Cuban regime... More »

Cuba to Let Athletes Play in Other Countries

But apparently not in the US, at least for now

(Newser) - Pro athletes in Cuba make all of $20 a month, which goes a long way toward explaining why so many baseball players, boxers, and others have been defecting of late. But now the government hopes to remedy that: New rules will let Cuban athletes sign contracts to play in foreign... More »

Raul Castro to Step Down in 2018

He promotes rising star, says new term will be his last

(Newser) - Cuba will be getting a new leader in 2018—and for the first time since the Eisenhower administration, his name probably won't be Castro. Raul Castro was elected to a second five-year term by Cuba's National Assembly yesterday, and he declared that it would be his last, the... More »

Chavez Finally Back in Venezuela

Makes surprise return this morning

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez is finally back in Venezuela, more than two months after he left for cancer surgery in Cuba. The president's return early today was a surprise, Reuters reports; it came just days after he released the first images of him that had been seen since he left his... More »

Fidel Castro Surfaces for Cuban Election

He makes first extended public appearance since 2010

(Newser) - A frail but definitely alive Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance in Havana yesterday to vote in Cuba's parliamentary elections. The 86-year-old former leader, who is often rumored to be dead or seriously ill, chatted with reporters and other voters in his first extended public outing since 2010,... More »

Cuba Making it Easier to Leave

Exit visa requirement to be dropped

(Newser) - Starting in January, it's going to be a lot easier for most Cubans to get out of Cuba. The government has announced that it will drop the requirement for citizens to obtain expensive exit permits before leaving the country. Under the current, widely despised, system, getting an exit permit... More »

Paul Ryan Courts Cuban-Americans in Miami

'Policy of appeasement is not working'

(Newser) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is courting Cuban-American voters with promises to be tougher on the Castro government than President Obama. Ryan campaigned this morning in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, where he stopped at the popular Versailles Restaurant. "I learned ... just how brutal the Castro regime is,... More »

Border Agents Detain Arizona's Ex-Governor, 96

Raul Castro's pacemaker set off sensor

(Newser) - Raul Castro—the former governor of Arizona and US ambassador, not the Cuban leader—was detained by US border agents last month, thanks to a rogue pacemaker. En route to Tucson from Mexico, Castro and a family friend were stopped at a checkpoint when his pacemaker set off a radiation... More »

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