Raul Castro was installed as president on Sunday, after his ailing brother, Fidel, retired following 49 years in power. Here are some reactions.

Raul Castro takes over as president
from his brother [AFP]
Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan president

A hug for Comrade Fidel, you will continue being the commander. Long live Fidel, long live Raul and long live Cuba. Stand up and applaud Cuba and Raul the new president.

Raul Castro, new president of Cuba

None of my speeches last more than an hour and that's because Fidel and the president of Venezuela are more intelligent than me and have more things to say, not for any other reason.

Condoleezza Rice, US Secretary of State

At this significant moment in Cuba's history, we reaffirm our belief that the Cuban people have an inalienable right to participate in an open and comprehensive dialogue about their country's future, free of fear and repression, and to choose their leaders in democratic elections.

Jose Basulto, Brothers to the Rescue founder

There is no such thing as elections in Cuba ... There is actually no change in Cuba taking place.

Andro Nodarse-Leon, Cuban American National Foundation, Miami

It's unfortunately more of the same coming out of Cuba and no real sign that there is an openness to a changing of the guard or a broader opening to real transition toward having a free and democratic country, which is what Cubans want.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Cuban-born south Florida Republican

To the long oppressed Cuban people it does not matter one bit who the communist Castro brothers choose as the next face of their oppressive, tyrannical regime.


What the Cuban people want is freedom to express their dissent from the oppressive regime and enjoy the liberty and freedom that other nations around the globe have.

Eduardo Migueltorena, Cuban living in Miami

Castro is still going to have the power. Cuba is going to be the same and nobody is going to have freedom in Cuba.

Robert Casanova, worker in Havana

This is a tough task for Raul. The first thing that has to stop is corruption. A lot of problems have built up in the country.

Julia Sweig, Council on Foreign Relations expert on Cuba, Washington

It's a mistake to think there's an enormous amount of light between any of these people [in the new Cuban government].


They're all basically headed in the same direction, with some nuances.

Jaime de Hombre, a Miami-based exile who fled Cuba in 1959

Since day one I have waited for this day, looked forward to this day ... It's disappointing, it's disappointing. I would like to see him [Fidel Castro] suffer.


Fidel Castro was in power for almost half a century [Reuters]

Source: Agencies