Fidel Castro, who has ruled Cuba with an iron fist for decades, is now finally being replaced. The Cuban parliament named Raul Castro to take the presidency from his sick and ailing brother.
“Fidel is irreplaceable; the people will continue his work when he is no longer with us physically, though his ideas always will be here,” Raul Castro, said in his acceptance speech late Sunday.
Raul Castro has already been acting as president for the last 19 months while his brother was sick and hospitalized. During this time he has started making some small economic reforms, but promised that all changes he will make will continue to be “within socialism.”
Citizens are divided on whether the change in leadership will mean a change in the everyday lives of residents of this tiny but controversy-surrounded nation.
“This is the best that could have happened to Cuba,” Carlos Muguercia, a 78-year-old craftsman said. “Raul already knows the situation. He knows how to solve problems, in any case the most serious ones.”
“Raul is Fidel without a beard,” argued another man in Havana.