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Cuba: Raúl Castro Elected New President

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 24, 2008, the National Assembly of People's Power elected Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro's younger brother, as President of Cuba. In his inaugural speech, Raúl Castro indicated that he intends to confer with his brother on matters of special relevance for Cuba, especially those pertaining to defense, foreign policy, and the socioeconomic development of the country. In addition, Raúl Castro asked the National Assembly to give him time to think about prospective members of his Cabinet (except the Defense Minister and the Vice President, who were appointed on February 24, 2008) and, most importantly, to analyze the current government system and to consider changes to it, if necessary. The National Assembly approved this proposal and determined that the new Cabinet and possible changes to the government system will be discussed in a session that will take place later in the year. (Discurso pronunciado por el presidente Raúl Castro Ruz el 24 de febrero de 2008, GRANMA ONLINE, Feb. 24, 2008; Tres propuestas de Raúl, Intervención del compañero Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros, en la Sesión Constitutiva de la VII Legislatura de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, efectuada en el Palacio de las Convenciones, el 24 de febrero de 2008, GRANMA ONLINE; Acuerdo VII-5, Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular de la República de Cuba, 011 GACETA OFICIAL 57-58 (Feb. 25, 2008); see also the Law Library of Congress Web site, //www.loc.gov/law/help/cuba-resignation.html.)