Raul Castro

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World Responds to Fidel Castro Death

Cuba has entered 9 days of national mourning

(Newser) - Cuba is officially in mourning, Miami is unofficially in party mode , and much of the rest of Latin America and the world is split over the death of Fidel Castro . The Cuban government has announced that after nine days of national mourning, the 90-year-old leader will be interred at a... More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Obama: Drug 'Legalization Is Not the Answer'

Summit leaders increasingly want to end war on drugs

(Newser) - With an election year well under way, President Obama went to the Summit of the Americas in Colombia determined to talk about trade deals and the economy. Unfortunately, many of the other leaders wanted to talk about the failed war on drugs and legalization, reports the LA Times . "In... More »

Eldest Castro Sister Dies

Angela, 88, is first Castro sibling to die

(Newser) - Angela Castro, the eldest of the seven Castro siblings that include Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul, has died in Havana at the age of 88, according to her sister Juanita, who lives in exile in Miami. Angela, who lived her life out of the public eye, is the first of... More »

Cuba to Free 2,900 Prisoners

But American Alan Gross not among those to be released

(Newser) - With a nod to Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the country, President Raul Castro yesterday announced that Cuba would pardon 2,900 prisoners, a group that includes some convicted of political crimes, many inmates over the age of 60, and a number of women. He referred to the act... More »

As Cuba Opens Up, Castro Hits Corruption

Free market reforms require crackdown, say Cuba officials

(Newser) - Cuba is in the midst of one of its biggest anti-corruption crackdowns in years, with Raul Castro jailing foreigners and kicking out scores of small companies even as he institutes free market reforms. But many are wondering if the crackdown will cure or kill the patient, reports the AP . "... More »

Poor Cubans Eye Gold Rush as Car Market Opens

Waiter earning $15 a month can sell 30-year-old Moskvich for $5K

(Newser) - Now that Cuba is allowing people to buy and sell cars , classic automobiles are going up for sale—creating a bubble that allows the wealthy to buy them, and poverty-stricken sellers to suddenly strike it rich, the New York Times reports. One waiter who earns $15 a month is looking... More »

Cuban Reforms May Endanger Classic US Cars

People might be able to buy modern ones for the first time

(Newser) - Cuba is making moves to give citizens more economic freedom, specifically the right to buy and sell homes and cars for the first time. CNN takes note and wonders what that might mean for all those classic Buicks, Plymouths, and Pontiacs cruising the nation's roads. They still exist because... More »

Aging Cuban Leaders Will Consider Term Limits

Government needs fresh blood, says President Raul Castro

(Newser) - Most of Cuba’s political leaders are in their 70s and 80s, and there is no “reserve of well-trained replacements with sufficient experience and maturity,” said President Raul Castro yesterday. As a result, the government will consider implementing term limits, in an effort to bring in new blood.... More »

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