Cuban President Raul Castro’s life and leadership

CCTV News

Cuban President Raul Castro's life and leadership

U.S.-Cuba ties again grow closer with a new deal in Havana.

This time, it’s an agreement to improve mutual interests in sea navigation and maritime monitoring.

This comes just a day before the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama.

As it prepares, Havana has made it clear it will stay close to left-wing allies in the region.

President Raul Castro honored Nicolas Maduro with Cuba’s highest state honor during the Venezuelan president’s visit this week.

How well does the world know Cuba’s leader? CCTV America’s Michael Voss reports.

Cuban President Raul Castro's life and leadership

Cuban President Raul Castro's life and leadership

U.S.-Cuba ties again grow closer with a new deal in Havana. This time, it's an agreement to improve mutual interests in sea navigation and maritime monitoring. How well does the world know Cuba's leader? CCTV America's Michael Voss reports.

When Raul Castro took over the presidency in 2008, he was seen as a transitional leader.

His charismatic elder brother Fidel Castro, had ruled the country for almost half a century. When he stepped down due to ill health many in the West thought Cuba’s communist system would collapse without him at the helm.

Yet, it proved a smooth transition and Raul Castro quickly set his own agenda, pushing through a series of social and economic reforms. Cubans can now be self-employed and set up small businesses.

They are also free to buy and sell their homes and cars and travel abroad without permission.

But President Raul Castro’s boldest step to date was to make his peace with U.S. President Barak Obama, bringing one of the last cold war hostilities to an end.

Both Castro brothers were born in rural eastern Cuba. They came from a wealthy farming family but went on to become revolutionaries.

Raul Castro fought alongside Fidel in the guerrilla campaign which overthrew the dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959. He later became the world’s longest serving defense minister.

As President, he says, he is not about to give up on his ideals. Raul Castro will turn 85 this year. His priority now is to try and turn Cuba’s struggling economy around and show that the system the Castro brothers created works before he steps down as president in 2018.


Joseph Humire on President Obama’s trip to Cuba

CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke to Joseph Humire. He’s the Executive Director of the Center for a Free Society.

Joseph Humire on President Obama's trip to Cuba

Joseph Humire on President Obama's trip to Cuba

CCTV America's Susan Roberts spoke to Joseph Humire. He's the Executive Director of the Center for a Free Society.