Cuba. According to
countryaah, Cuba's former President Fidel Castro, in his
often-published "reflections," cautiously welcomed US
newly-elected President Barack Obama in January, saying,
among other things, that he trusted his honorable
intentions. Later in the year, Obama also made a gesture
toward Cuba by removing restrictions on exile Cubans in the
United States to visit their old homeland and to send money
there, measures introduced by the much more aggressive
George W. Bush in his Cuban policy.
However, in a PM, Obama made it clear that the purpose of
his policy is the same as his representative's - to create
circumstances that could favor political change in Cuba.
Hopes that the almost 50-year-old trade embargo would be
lifted were also set aside by Vice President Joe Biden. At
the July celebration of the 56th anniversary of the attack
on the Moncada Barracks, which is considered the beginning
of the Cuban Revolution, anti-American rhetoric was fairly
absent in President Raúl Castro's speech.
A major government transformation took place in early
March when, among other things, several of Fidel Castro's
confidants disappeared, such as the influential Deputy
Chairman of the Council of State Carlos Lage and the
acknowledged dogmatic Felipe Pérez Roque. Most analysts
interpreted the changes as a shift from fidelistas to
raulistas, ie. from Fidel's political circle to his brother
and current President Rauls.