August 07, 2006

Raul Castro


From AFP on Aug. 4: Cuba insists: Raul Castro 'at helm'; Fidel recovering.

Cuba has insisted Raul Castro is "firmly at the helm" and his brother Fidel was recovering from surgery, as the Communist leaders stayed out of view but defiant against escalating US calls for democratic change.

The government released the first news on Fidel Castro's health in two days and sought to assert Raul's leadership four days after Fidel handed over power "temporarily".

But Cubans had yet to see the siblings since the unprecedented transition, which has cast a cloud of uncertainty over a country that had been ruled by Fidel Castro without interruption since 1959. ...

The center-left daily El Pais newspaper from Spain reported that Raul Castro has appointed a team of six senior communists to govern under his supervision.

Raul Castro's ruling team reportedly includes Cuba's Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Carlos Lage, who championed the country's economic reforms in the 1990s.

Also on board are three more traditional communists: Ramon Machado Ventura, Jose Ramon Balaguer and Esteban Lazo, El Pais said.

The sixth member is the president of Cuba's central bank, Francisco Soberon, who favors centralized economic policies.

The Barcelona daily La Vanguardia, citing diplomatic sources, said that Raul Castro had not appeared in public since taking power because he was suffering from "depression" due to the serious illness of his wife Vilma Espin.

From CNN today: Cuba's VP expects return of ailing Fidel Castro within weeks.

Cuba's vice president and Venezuela's leader provided optimistic assessments of Fidel Castro's health, saying the Cuban president was recovering quickly from intestinal surgery and could be back at work within weeks.

Castro himself has been out of sight since July 31, when his secretary went on state television to announce he had undergone surgery and was temporarily ceding power to his younger brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro.

"In a few weeks he'll be recovered and he'll return to his duties," Vice President Carlos Lage said Sunday when asked by reporters when Castro would be back at work.

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Posted by Forkum at August 7, 2006 11:35 PM