Castro, Raúl

Castro, Raúl

(Raúl Castro Ruz) (rä-o͞ol` käs`trō), 1931–, Cuban revolutionary and government official, younger brother of Fidel CastroCastro, Fidel
(Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz) , 1926–2016, Cuban revolutionary, premier of Cuba (1959–76), president of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers (1976–2008).
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. A loyal supporter of his brother and a Communist, Raúl Castro joined Fidel in the unsuccessful 1953 uprising against Fulgencio BatistaBatista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio
, 1901–73, president of Cuba (1940–44, 1952–59). An army sergeant, Batista took part in the overthrow of Gerardo Machado in 1933 and subsequently headed the military and student junta that ousted Carlos Manuel de
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 and was also imprisoned. Released in 1955, they went to Mexico and later returned (1956) to Cuba as guerrillas to overthrow Batista. Fidel's chief lieutenant in the revolution, Raúl became minister of the armed forces in 1959, a position he held until 2008. In 1972 he also became first deputy premier and then first vice president of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers when the Cuban government was reorganized in 1976. He became Cuba's acting president and Communist party leader in 2006 when Fidel Castro was forced by ill health and surgery to relinquish the presidency temporarily. When his brother retired as president in 2008, Raül was elected to the office. Under Raül a number of reforms, largely designed to increase the productivity of the Cuban economy, have been introduced. In 2011 he officially replaced Fidel as leader of the Cuban Communist party.