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Cuba Under the Other Castro

Raúl is officially named President, and he promises economic and government reforms, but insists the socialist regime will not give way to democracy

Cuba's National Assembly on Feb. 24 selected Raúl Castro, 76, as the new President of Cuba, marking the end of 49 years of leadership by Fidel Castro. The veteran Army general pledged to carry out economic reforms but made it clear that the Caribbean island nation would remain under Communist rule in spite of Washington's insistence that it embark on a transition to democracy.

The new President, who had served as acting President since Fidel underwent emergency intestinal surgery on July 31, 2006, was selected six days after his ailing 81-year-old brother, who had been one of the world's longest-ruling leaders, removed his name from consideration for another term, saying that he was "exhausted."