José Ramón Machado Ventura, 80, will fill Raul Castro's old spot as No. 2 in power, while Ramiro Valdes will take over the No. 3 role. Both have collaborated with the Fidel and Raul Castro since at least the 1950s.
The Obama administration has dismissed Venezuela's Hugo Chávez as a pesky loudmouth. But he imperils regional security and freedom.