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NATIONAL
December 12, 2013 | By David Horsey
At the memorial for Nelson Mandela, President Obama gave those who pander to right-wing outrage two great opportunities to rattle the cage of Obama haters. The first was his handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro; the second was the "selfie" he posed for with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Taking the second one first, critics said it was disrespectful for the president to be clowning around with the two PMs in the middle of a funeral.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
Friends and family of a teen killed last week when a FedEx truck slammed into a charter bus full of prospective college students gathered for an emotional vigil Monday night at El Monte High School. Adrian Castro, 19, was courteous and stubborn in his own way, making sure that anything he started, he finished, said his dad, Raul Castro. “That was my right-hand man and now he's no longer with me,” he added. Adrian Castro was among 10 people killed last week when the truck slammed into the bus headed for Humboldt State University for a spring tour.
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NEWS
December 10, 2013 | By Cathleen Decker
President Obama's appearance at the Soweto memorial for Nelson Mandela provided a conflict in word and deed: a none-too-subtle upbraiding of nations like Cuba and a seemingly friendly handshake with the country's leader, Raul Castro. And if the handshake between presidents has no lasting impact, it will also put something of a lie to two long-held - and in one case demonstrably erroneous - assertions about politics: that pictures always trump words, and that any gesture of comity with Cuba will backfire in the electorally key state of Florida.
OPINION
February 16, 2014 | The Times editorial board
The United States and Cuba have been locked in the coldest of relationships for more than half a century. But a new poll suggests that the American people think it's time to warm things up a bit. We agree. The poll, commissioned by the Washington-based Atlantic Council research group, found that 6 in 10 Americans favor normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba. The numbers are stronger in Florida than in the nation as a whole, and support holds even among Latinos in that state, which is where the bulk of the Cuban expatriate community resides.
WORLD
December 14, 2008 | Associated Press
Raul Castro on Saturday began his first international trip as Cuba's president with a visit to Venezuela, a symbolic choice aimed at strengthening ties with the island's socialist ally and main benefactor. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has long been a close ally of Raul Castro's older brother Fidel Castro, who in February ceded power to Raul because of illness. Chavez's support for Cuba's communist government and his fierce criticism of U.S. policy have irritated officials in Washington.
WORLD
February 24, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - In one of the strongest portents yet of a post-Castro Cuba, President Raul Castro said Sunday that his newly granted five-year term would be his last, and he took on a relatively young vice president who presumably could succeed him. It was the first time a deadline had been put on the Castro era, which saw the island ruled by first Fidel and then Raul Castro for more than half a century since the 1959 revolution ousted an abusive, U.S.-backed...
WORLD
July 27, 2007 | Ray Sanchez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
An estimated 100,000 cheering loyalists crammed a plaza here as acting President Raul Castro presided for the first time over ceremonies marking the start of the Cuban Revolution. In a one-hour speech, Castro acknowledged that the economy has failed to meet the needs of working people and signaled the need for unspecified "structural changes." "No one country can afford to spend more than what they have," he said during a ceremony peppered with praise for his convalescing older brother, Fidel.
WORLD
June 13, 2003 | From Reuters
President Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, led hundreds of thousands of marchers Thursday past the Spanish and Italian embassies in Cuba's capital to protest the European Union's hardening position toward the Communist island. Fidel Castro, in a four-hour TV appearance Wednesday, blamed Spain and Italy for the 15-member EU's decision last week to end high-level visits to the Caribbean island, reduce cultural exchanges and invite government opponents to members' Havana embassies.
WORLD
July 27, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Raul Castro said the global economic crisis means tougher times ahead for Cuba but that the country has no one to blame but itself for poor farm production that leads to frequent shortages of fruits, vegetables and other basics. In a speech marking Revolution Day, the president said the island can't pin all its problems on Washington's 47-year trade embargo. He implored Cubans to take better advantage of a government program begun last year to turn unused state land over to private farmers.
NEWS
January 29, 1998 | MARK FINEMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Cuban military leader Raul Castro on Wednesday night led tens of thousands of torch-bearing youths, women and laborers through the streets of the nation's second-largest city, Santiago, proclaiming that it "was, is and will be the cradle of the revolution" that brought communism to Cuba nearly 40 years ago.
OPINION
December 14, 2013
Judging by the media's coverage of Nelson Mandela's memorial this week, the gathering in South Africa consisted primarily of President Obama appeasing enemies of the United State and snapping juvenile "selfies" with his fellow national leaders. Those stirring eulogies of the late revolutionary who guided his country out of apartheid in the early 1990s were really just a sideshow. Our readers weren't having it. Almost all of the letters we received about the memorial dismissed the criticism of Obama's handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro as petty politics; in fact, several praised Obama for his gesture.
NATIONAL
December 12, 2013 | By David Horsey
At the memorial for Nelson Mandela, President Obama gave those who pander to right-wing outrage two great opportunities to rattle the cage of Obama haters. The first was his handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro; the second was the "selfie" he posed for with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Taking the second one first, critics said it was disrespectful for the president to be clowning around with the two PMs in the middle of a funeral.
WORLD
December 10, 2013 | By Alexandra Zavis
More than 90 world leaders and tens of thousands of South Africans plan to pay their last respects to Nelson Mandela at a memorial service Tuesday in the Johannesburg township of Soweto. The gathering, part of 10 days of national mourning, takes place at the soccer stadium where the former president made his last public appearance, in 2010, at the final game of soccer's World Cup championships. Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95. Mandela was famous for bringing together people of all races, economic backgrounds and political persuasions, and his memorial is expected to do the same.
WORLD
December 10, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - Even in death, Nelson Mandela brought together unlikely bedfellows. Mandela's memorial Tuesday drew dozens of dignitaries and heads of state, including a U.S. president and three former ones, a bipartisan congressional delegation and leaders from around the world. Each brought a tangle of tricky relationships that had to be, at least publicly, set aside to honor a man who championed reconciliation. For President Obama, that meant encounters that ranged from awkward to outright controversial.
NEWS
December 10, 2013 | By Cathleen Decker
President Obama's appearance at the Soweto memorial for Nelson Mandela provided a conflict in word and deed: a none-too-subtle upbraiding of nations like Cuba and a seemingly friendly handshake with the country's leader, Raul Castro. And if the handshake between presidents has no lasting impact, it will also put something of a lie to two long-held - and in one case demonstrably erroneous - assertions about politics: that pictures always trump words, and that any gesture of comity with Cuba will backfire in the electorally key state of Florida.
WORLD
March 8, 2013 | By Chris Kraul and Mery Mogollon, Los Angeles Times
CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was remembered Friday as a leader who cared for the poor and opposed the dominance of one nation over others during a funeral ceremony that attracted dignitaries from around the world. The Venezuelan national anthem was played by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, directed by conductor Gustavo Dudamel. In his funeral oration, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Chavez, who died Tuesday at 58 after a long bout with cancer, was the champion of the oppressed and "redeemer of our poor and those of all the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 19, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Vilma Espin Guillois, the wife of acting Cuban President Raul Castro and one of the communist nation's most politically powerful women, died Monday, the government announced. She was 77. Cuban state television said that Espin died Monday afternoon after a long, undisclosed illness. An official mourning period was declared from 8 p.m. Monday until 10 tonight.
WORLD
February 25, 2008 | Miguel Bustillo and Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writers
Cuba's parliament signaled Sunday that the status quo of a stunted state-run economy and strained relations with the United States will persist for now as it named Raul Castro to replace his ailing brother, Fidel, as president and chose another aging revolutionary as the nation's No. 2 leader. The selection of Raul Castro, 76, to head the Council of State had been widely predicted, as he stood loyally by his brother's side throughout a 49-year rule.
WORLD
February 26, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - To most outsiders, Miguel Diaz-Canel was an unknown. But in Cuba, the newly anointed possible heir to the Castro brothers was a carefully groomed, hardworking and familiar figure. Diaz-Canel emerged as the likely successor to lead a post-Castro government over the weekend when he was named first vice president and President Raul Castro announced that he would step down at the end of his just-ratified five-year term. It marks the first time an expiration date has been put on the Castro era, during which the island was led first by Fidel and then by Raul after the 1959 revolution that ousted a dictatorial U.S.-backed regime.
WORLD
February 24, 2013 | By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - In one of the strongest portents yet of a post-Castro Cuba, President Raul Castro said Sunday that his newly granted five-year term would be his last, and he took on a relatively young vice president who presumably could succeed him. It was the first time a deadline had been put on the Castro era, which saw the island ruled by first Fidel and then Raul Castro for more than half a century since the 1959 revolution ousted an abusive, U.S.-backed...
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