Birth date: June 3, 1931Birth place: Biran, CubaBirth name: Raul Modesto Castro RuzFather: Angel Castro, a wealthy Spanish landownerMother: Lina Ruz, a cook and maid to Angel Castro's first wifeMarriage: Vilma Espin (1959-2007, her death) Children: Mariela, Nilsa, Deborah, AlejandroEducation: Attended the University of HavanaTimeline:
1953 – Attempts, along with his older brother Fidel Castro, to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, after which both are sentenced to 15 years in prison. They are released less than two years later as part of an amnesty for political prisoners. Both go into exile in Mexico. January 1, 1959 – The Castros successfully overthrow the Batista government. January 1959 – Three weeks after taking power, Fidel Castro states that his brother is to be his successor, telling supporters, "Behind me are others more radical than I."October 1959 – Fidel Castro appoints Raul to several prominent roles in his government including defense minister.April 1961 – Raul Castro's troops defeat the CIA-led Bay of Pigs invasion. 1962 – Becomesdeputy prime minister.July 1962 – In a visit to the Soviet Union, Raul Castro is promised missiles. This development leads to the US-Cuban Missile crisis. 1970s – Is involved in the military conflicts in Angola and Ethiopia. 1972 – Appointed first deputy prime minister (later called vice president).1991 – Helps Cuba navigate a severe financial crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. October 1997 – Cuba's Communist Party officially designates Raul Castro as Fidel Castro's successor should he die or be unable to perform his duties. 2001 – In an interview with Cuban state television, Raul Castro says he'd like to see Cuba improve its relationship with the United States: "I am among those who believe that it would be in imperialism's interest to try, with our irreconcilable differences, to normalize relations as much as possible during Fidel's life." July 31, 2006 –Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to Raul while undergoing intestinal surgery.February 19, 2008 –Fidel Castro, in a letter, resigns from office. This paves the way for the National Assembly to select Raul as Cuba's new leader.February 24, 2008 – Raul Castro is chosen by Cuba's National Assembly to be the country's new president.April 28, 2008 – Announces that many death row prisoners will have their sentences commuted as part of a reform agenda.December 2008 – Makes first international trip as president, visiting Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez. March 2, 2009 –Reorganizes his Cabinet, replacing long-time aides to Fidel Castro.April 6, 2009 – Meets with visiting members of the US Congressional Black Caucus.April 19, 2011 –Elected to succeed Fidel Castro as first secretary of the Communist Party. March 2012 –Pope Benedict XVI visits Cuba and meets Castro. The pontiff prays for "those deprived of freedom" and talks about human rights throughout his tour of the country. February 24, 2013 – After being reelected by the National Assembly, Castro announces he will step down in 2018, at the end of his second five-year term. December 17, 2014 – Cuba and the United States announce plans to renew diplomatic relations after a half-century of tension. April 12, 2015 – Castro meets with President Barack Obama during the Summit of the Americas in Panama.May 10, 2015 – Meets Pope Francis for the first time. They talk for 50 minutes at the Vatican. Castro thanks the Pope for facilitating talks between Cuba and the United States. He later says he may rejoin the Catholic Church.March 20-22, 2016 – During a historic trip to Cuba, Obama visits Raul Castro to discuss human rights and ending the economic embargo. Obama is the first sitting president to visit Cuba since 1928, when Calvin Coolidge traveled to the island via boat. November 25, 2016 – Announces the death of Fidel Castro on Cuban state-run media.December 21, 2017 –Cuban officials announce that Castro will not retire as planned when his presidential term ends on February 24, 2018. Due to ongoing issues related to recovery from Hurricane Irma, the naming of Castro's successor will be delayed until April 19, 2018, according to Cuban state-run media.