"Cuba remains a one-party communist state with a poor record on human rights. The country's political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. The government of Raúl Castro has implemented limited economic policy changes since 2008. In September 2010, the government announced that it would reduce the public sector by cutting half a million jobs, but implementation has been slow and missed the original target of March 2011. The government has also expanded categories of self-employment. Few observers expect the government to ease its tight control over the political system, although it has reduced the number of political prisoners over the past several years, including the release of more than 100 since July 2010 after talks with the Cuban Catholic Church."
CRS Report for Congress, R41617