As Fidel Castro’s designated successor, his younger brother Raul has provisionally taken up the reigns. The 75-year-old, who is minister of defense and first vice president of the Council of State, is number two in the country’s political hierarchy. Five years Castro’s junior, Raul is considered to be the president’s most trusted right-hand man, although he is said to lack his older brother’s political flair and charisma.
He has been a close confident of Castro’s since their guerrilla days and the triumph of their revolution in 1959. Raul has already indicated that a collective leadership would more than likely govern a post-Castro Cuba.