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Raúl Castro

Raúl CastroAKA Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz

Born: 3-Jun-1931
Birthplace: Birán, Cuba

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: Hispanic
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Head of State

Nationality: Cuba
Executive summary: President of Cuba

According to a ABC News Brian Ross report, a federal indictment for conspiracy to smuggle cocaine was prepared by the Clinton Administration in 1993, but never used. The indictment alleges that Raul permitted Cuba to be used as a staging area for the transit of cocaine to the United States. A primary source for information used by the indictment was Columbian smuggler Carlos Lehder. Cuba had executed a number of military officials in 1989 for drug smuggling, including Gen. Arnoldo Ochoa, though this is largely believed to be part of a power struggle rather than concern about the crime.

Raul assumed interim duties of the Cuban presidency on July 31, 2006 when Fidel Castro underwent surgery for what is probably colon cancer. Such an act is unprecedented, and Cubans-in-exile in Miami celebrated in the streets, thinking the end had come to the Castro regime. It soon became very clear that the exiles were overly optimistic, but on 24 February 2008 Raul officially replaced his brother as President.

Very little has been written about Raul Castro over the years, surprising considering the height and duration of his position, being the longest-serving Defense Minister in the world. He is one of only two or three people who has the trust of Fidel Castro. Raul was a Communist before Fidel became one. In 1959 the two of them visited the United States for two days -- the only time visiting for Raul. He built Cuba's army up to 150,000 -- a large number for such a small country -- engaging in foreign adventures in both Angola and Ethiopia. His former Chief of Staff, Alcibiades Hidalgo, defected in 2002 to the United States.

Father: Angel Castro y Argiz (sugar plantation owner)
Mother: Lina Ruz Gonzáles (his father's maid)
Brother: Fidel Castro
Brother: (another brother)
Sister: Angela
Sister: Juanita (CIA operative, b. circa 1933)
Sister: Emma
Wife: Vilma Espin Guillois (m. 1959, d. 2007, three daughters, one son)
Daughter: Débora (eldest)
Daughter: Mariela Castro (gay rights activist)

    High School: Colegio Dolores, Santiago
    High School: Colegio de Belén, Havana

    President of Cuba (24-Feb-2008 to present)
    Cuban Minister Defense (1959-2008)
    Cuban Official Second Secretary, CP Central Committee (1965-)
    Cuban Official VP, National Assembly of People's Power (1976-)
    Traveled to the USSR Jul-1960
    Traveled to the USSR for the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko (Mar-1985)
    Funeral: Nelson Mandela (2013)
    Audience with the Pope Pope Francis

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