Raul Castro

Raul Castro appears heading in new direction by talking with Church officials

Raul Castro appears heading in new direction by talking with Church officialsObservers have said that Cuban leader Raul Castro appears headed in a new direction by talking with Catholic Church officials about political dissidents.

The Communist island nation's leader recently met with Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega. The upshot of those negotiations was a Castro promise to place sick dissidents in hospitals and to move others to jails closer to their homes.

Raul Castro ready to talk to US, but rules out negotiations on Cuba’s socialism

Raul Castro ready to talk to US, but rules out negotiations on Cuba’s socialismWashington, Aug 2 : Cuban President Raul Castro has said that he is ready to talk about everything and anything with the United States, but added that the country’s political system was not on the negotiating table.

Castro’s remarks came during a speech to the closing session of the Cuban Parliament on Saturday afternoon.

He specified that discussion meant talking about issues in the US as well as in Cuba, CBS News reported.

Cuba postpones Communist Party congress

Cuba postpones Communist Party congress Havana  - Cuban President Raul Castro postponed a congress of his Communist Party, which was planned for the end of the year, indefinitely, saying the government had to focus on the economy, state media said Friday.

The government also lowered its 2009 growth projections from 2.5 per cent to 1.7 per cent. Cuba's economy was in a very serious crisis, the president said.

Raul Castro is expected to raise the issue at Saturday's parliamentary session, which analysts believe will focus on the economy.

More Cuban doctors en route to Angola after Castro's second visit

More Cuban doctors en route to Angola after Castro's second visitJohannesburg  - Cuban President Raul Castro wound up his second visit to the oil-rich southern African nation of Angola in under six months on Wednesday.

Castro spent two days in the former Portuguese colony and staunch Cuba ally, during which he held talks with the country's president of 30 years, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and Cuba agreed to send 230 more doctors to Angola.

Delegations from two countries also signed agreements on cooperation in research and telecommunications.

Raul Castro in Angola for second visit in six months

Raul Castro Luanda - Cuban President Raul Castro was due to hold talks with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos Tuesday on his second visit to the oil-rich southern African nation and longtime Cuba ally in under six months.

Castro arrived in the capital Luanda on Monday from the desert state of Namibia to Angola's south.

Castro and dos Santos were to hold talks at the presidential palace "to analyse the cooperation between their two countries," Angola's state press agency Angop reported Tuesday.

US needs to make ''gestures,'' not Cuba: Raul Castro

Castro calls for "optimism" in 5-billion-dollar recoveryWashington, Apr. 30 : Cuban strongman Raul Castro has said that it is the United States that needs to come forward with gestures to show that it is keen on improving relations with Cuba.

Echoing his ailing older brother Fidel, the Daily News quoted Cuban President Raul Castro as saying: "Cuba has not imposed sanctions against the U. S." and "therefore it is not Cuba that has to make gestures."

Raul Castro meets US Congress members

Raul Castro meets US Congress membersHavana  - Cuban President Raul Castro held his first talks with a US congressional delegation since taking office a little more than a year ago, Cuban state television reported.

No details about Monday's talks were released.

The seven-member delegation of Democrats was in Havana to explore ways of improving US-Cuban relations as US President Barack Obama, also a Democrat, was expected to lift some of the restrictions the United States imposed on the island almost 50 years ago.

Raul Castro changes key figures in Cuban government

Cuban President Raul CastroHavana  - Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday undertook a major cabinet reshuffle, complete with the removal of key figures like Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Vice President Carlos Lage.

Castro - who formally took over power from his brother, historic Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a little over a year ago - announced the mergers of several ministries and changes in several portfolios.

According to an official statement, these changes were set to be followed by others, based on the "need to keep studying the current structure of government to gradually reduce its size and increase its efficacy." dpa

With Raul Castro, Cuba learns to navigate without Fidel

With Raul Castro, Cuba learns to navigate without FidelHavana  - This year's unprecedented parade of foreign leaders in Havana - six from Latin America and one from Africa - is a sign that at least one thing has changed in Cuba since February 24, 2008, when Raul Castro took over as president of the communist island.

Within the country, however, the great expectations about far- reaching structural changes in Cuba have virtually died over the last year.

For the international community, Cuba appears to have taken large strides.

Raul Castro kicks off state visit to Cuba ally Angola

Johannesburg - Cuban President Raul Castro on Thursday kicked off a state visit to oil-rich Angola, a longtime ally of the Communist island, where he was due to hold talks with President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Angola's state press agency Angop reported that Castro, 77, who replaced his ailing brother Fidel Castro as president last year, was to receive the official welcome given heads of state at the presidential palace in Luanda.

Castro, 77, was due to give a speech at the official opening of talks with dos Santos, before later addressing an extraordinary session of the National Assembly.

Castros' birthplace to become Cuban national monument

Castros' birthplace to become Cuban national monument Havana  - Cuba has declared the birthplace of brothers Fidel and Raul Castro a "national monument," state media reported.

The rural home of the Castros near the village of Biran in Holguin province in south-eastern Cuba was given the distinction because of its "extraordinary historical value," news reports said Tuesday.

Raul Castro due in Moscow Wednesday for week-long visit

Raul Castro due in Moscow Wednesday for week-long visit Moscow  - Cuban President Raul Castro is due in Moscow on Wednesday for a week-long visit, the Kremlin press service said Monday, in the latest sign of reviving relations between the Cold War allies.

President Dmitry Medvedev extended Castro the invitation while on a visit to Havana in November.

Many see Moscow's warming ties with the small communist island, long an arch-foe of the United States, as a snub of Washington in anger over US missile defence plans and post-war aide to Georgia.

Raul Castro calls Obama "a good man," wishes him luck

Raul Castro calls Obama "a good man," wishes him luck Havana  - Cuban President Raul Castro wished new US President Barack Obama luck as he takes the helm in Cuba's neighbour and declared enemy.

"He looks like a good man, I hope he is lucky," Castro said.

However, he declined to provide further details of his plans for new times in the difficult US-Cuban relations.

Argentina president on official visit to Cuba

CubaHavana - Cuban President Raul Castro received Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the first such meeting between the heads of state of both countries since 1986. The four-star general accorded Fernandez military honours in the Palace of the Revolution before the two witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements on science, technology, energy and food.

Fernandez visited the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Centre outside Havana which produced vaccines, some of which are sold in Argentina.

Raul Castro hosts Ecuadorian president

Raul Castro hosts Ecuadorian presidentHavana  - Presidents Raul Castro of Cuba and Rafael Correa of Ecuador met Thursday in Havana to start a three-day official visit to the communist island by the left-wing populist Correa.

During the visit, Correa told reporters that he hopes Barack Obama - set to be inaugurated on January 20 as US president - will move toward change in Washington's "absurd foreign policy," citing Cuba and the Middle East as examples.

Correa termed the US embargo on Cuba - which has lasted more than 40 years - as "unsustainable, unjustifiable and intolerable."

Raul Castro: Cuban revolution "stronger than ever" at 50

Raul Castro: Cuban revolution "stronger than ever" at 50Santiago de Cuba  - President Raul Castro declared Thursday that the Cuban revolution after 50 years was "stronger than ever despite the obsessive and revengeful hate of the United States."

Despite the current difficult times, the revolutionary movement had moved barely a millimetre from its principles, the younger brother of the ailing revolutionary leader Fidel Castro said at the formal celebration of the anniversary.

Cuba's Raoul Castro suggests prisoner exchange with US

Cuba's Raoul Castro suggests prisoner exchange with US Brasilia  - Cuban President Raoul Castro, on his first official foreign visit since taking power in February, Thursday suggested that Havana and Washington could consider a possible prisoner exchange to start a thaw in relations between the two countries.

Castro, who took over leadership of the communist country in February from his ailing brother, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, made the remarks after meeting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Raul Castro hails "historic" summit of Latin America and Caribbean

Raul CastroRio de Janeiro - Cuban President Raul Castro hailed as "historic" Tuesday the first Latin American-Caribbean Conference, which was taking place Tuesday and Wednesday in the northeastern Brazilian seaside resort of Costa do Sauipe.

Speaking as a guest before leaders of the Mercosur trade bloc - which was holding its own summit along with those of three other organizations in the resort close to Salvador de Bahia - Castro said his country had a "brotherhood without restrictions" in relation to all efforts for integration in the region.

Medvedev's visit "magnificent," Cuban President Castro says

Havana  - Cuban President Raul Castro on Friday described as "magnificent" the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who also met Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

"It has been a magnificent visit," Raul Castro told reporters, after he and Medvedev laid a wreath at the Mausoleum of the Soviet Internationalist Soldier, which honours 68 soldiers who died in Cuba in 1962-1966, either while taking part in disaster relief work or as a result of accidents.

Medvedev and Fidel had an hour-long meeting during which they discussed the future of Russian-Cuban cooperation and international political issues.

Medvedev's official visit of less than 24 hours, is the first by a Russian president to Cuba in eight years.

Russia and Cuba to revive ties with nuclear cooperation

Dmitry MedvedevHavana - Russia and Cuba are to revive their historically close ties, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro said after talks in Havana late Thursday.

Medvedev and Castro met for several hours and, in a demonstration of friendship, Castro also joined the Russian president in visiting a recently opened Russian Orthodox church in the capital of the communist country.

Moscow plans to step up cooperation with Havana in the area of nuclear energy as well as oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, Medvedev announced.

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