Cuba's Political Succession: From Fidel to Raul Castro [Updated February 29, 2008] [open pdf - 101KB]
From the Summary: "Cuba's political succession from Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl has been characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. On February 24, 2008, Cuba's legislature selected Raúl as President of the 31-member Council of State, a position that officially made him Cuba's head of government and state. Most observers expected this since Raúl already had been heading the Cuban government on a provisional basis since July 2006 when Fidel stepped down as President because of poor health. On February 19, 2008, Fidel had announced that he would not accept the position of President of the Council of State. Cuba's stable political succession from one communist leader to another raises questions about the future direction of U.S. policy, which currently can be described as a sanctions-based policy that ties the easing of sanctions to democratic change in Cuba. For developments in U.S. policy toward Cuba, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL33819, Cuba: Issues for the 110th Congress; and CRS Report RL31139, Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances. For background and analysis in the aftermath of Fidel Castro's stepping down from power in July 2006, see CRS Report RL33622, Cuba's Future Political Scenarios and U.S. Policy Approaches."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22742