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The reluctant and uninspiring President Raul Castro

During his record-making run as Cuba’s defense minister—longer he says than anyone in history—Raul Castro wisely shied from the limelight. But since last February when he assumed Cuba’s presidency he has had no choice but to assume a more public role, addressing Cuban audiences and meeting abroad with foreign leaders and reporters much more often than he would like. These demands have put him under unaccustomed new pressure. And, judging from his recent performances, he has been handling them so ineptly that his ability to govern credibly once Fidel is gone seems more in doubt than before.

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