Fidel Castro has been out of the limelight for a while, but yesterday he officially announced that he was not going to return to office. The aged Cuban dictator was succeeded by his kid brother, Raoul, who is a youthful 76 years old. Fidel was forced into semi-retirement by health problems a while back, and Raoul's been running things ever since. It's kind of a case of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss." The lives of Cubans have not improved, and nobody is building rafts trying to get to the island nation.
I don't expect the icy relationship between Cuba and the United States to change any time soon. There's too much water under the bridge, and as long as communists from Fidel's generation are running Cuba into the ground, there's no reason for us to change our policies. If at some point in the near future, the Cuban government changes its policies and starts respecting the human rights of its citizens, then we can start thinking about rapprochement with Cuba.