Raul Castro replaced his brother, longtime dictator Fidel Castro, as president of Cuba in 2008. Raul Castro helped his brother plan and execute the socialist revolution which overthrew the dictator Fulgencio Batista in the 1950s. (Raul also introduced Fidel to Che Guevara, who also was to become a famous revolutionary.) Fidel took power in 1959 and Raul spent the next five decades as his defense minister, chief lieutenant, and designated successor. Fidel dominated Caribbean politics with his charisma and vision of Cuba as a socialist paradise, while Raul was widely seen as a stolid and loyal pragmatist who ran the Army and quashed dissent. Raul became the acting head of the Cuban government in August of 2006 after Fidel underwent surgery for an undisclosed ailment. In February of 2008, Fidel announced that he would step down from power, and Raul Castro was named to replace him as president one week later. He was reelected in February of 2013, at which point he made the surprising announcement that he would step down in 2018, at the end of that five-year term.
Raul Castro married fellow revolutionary Vilma Espin in 1959. They have four children… Raul Castro is five years younger than Fidel.
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