Note: It was announced this morning that Raul Castro will be giving the July 26 speech and not Fidel Castro.
Raul Castro proves no lightweight in leading Cuba
By Marc Frank | Reuters
Raul Castro has kept Cuba stable and its economy growing in his first year in charge since his brother Fidel Castro was forced to step aside, but he has not delivered the reforms many Cubans hoped for.
The main achievement of the man the Bush administration dubs “Fidel Lite” has been to shatter the assumptions of U.S. government officials and Cuban exiles in Miami that without Fidel Castro at the helm, Cuba’s communist state was doomed.
Some Cubans are disappointed that the more pragmatic of the Castro brothers has not done more to make one of the world’s most centralized economies work better, although there is speculation that he might soon pick up the pace.
“He has moved slower than we expected, but I have no doubt there will be substantial measures before the year is out,” said an economist and member of a new commission established to study property reforms in an economy that is 90 percent state-owned.