World

Raul Castro marks first year as Cuba's leader

It's been a busy first year in office for Cuban leader Raul Castro, who has met with up to a dozen presidents from around the world as Latin America took bolder steps decidedly to the left.

Recent pictures captured the global moments -- Castro in Moscow, posing with a Russian Orthodox patriarch, or at a photo op at the presidential palace in Algiers. There's another one of him flanked by the honor guard in Havana with the president of Namibia at his side.

As Cuba struggled with economic realities that included back-to-back devastating storms, the nation took a strong stand bolstering its foreign policy agenda. While Cuba-watchers in the United States dithered about how often Cuban-Americans should be allowed to visit relatives on the island, a stream of the most important leaders in the region -- including the presidents of Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador -- made trips to Havana.

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