He replaced some of Fidel Castro's protégés in favor of his own allies.
This weekend, Cubans reflect on Fidel Castro's legacy: universal healthcare and a strong education system, but limits on freedom of expression and the struggle under a US embargo.
A new approach could represent a relatively easy first step down a generally more controversial path of engaging with America's adversaries.
Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Cuba's Raúl Castro signed a series of bilateral accords in Caracas on Saturday in Mr. Castro's first foreign trip since he succeeded his ailing brother Fidel.
Cuba's new president is not as close to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez as Fidel Castro. But Raul and Chávez need each other, now more than ever, say analysts.
Leading Cuban activist Belinda Salas says she and others were beaten Wednesday after leaving the US Interests Section in Havana.
Yoani Sanchez won the Spanish equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, but her government wouldn't allow her to leave the country to receive it.
They just want the freedom to travel and access to the tech touchstones of their generation: iPods, Facebook, and text messages.
Only a handful of political activists are willing to risk fighting for basic freedoms. But more ordinary Cubans, they say, are asking how to get involved.
Since Raúl Castro took the helm in February, he's rolled out a series economic changes, including allowing Cubans to buy cellphones and giving farmers profit-incentives.
John Parke Wright, with close ties to the Castro brothers, says Cuba is starting to open up economically.
John McCain supports a tight US embargo. Barack Obama says he'll loosen it.
The 'Damas de Blanco,' a group of Cuban women seeking the release of political prisoners, held a protest in front of Raúl Castro's office Monday.
Communist nation easing restrictions on foreign programs.
The National Assembly elected Fidel's brother Sunday to be president in a vote that signals minor changes.
Venezuela's fiery president gears up to become Latin America's next leftist icon.
After nearly 50 years in power, Fidel effectively hands the reins to his younger brother, Raul Castro.
The State Department said Tuesday that Castro's departure won't lead to a change in policy or the lifting of the embargo.
Cubans voted for 614 candidates running unopposed in Sunday's parliamentary poll.