April 28, 2008 - Announces there will be a Communist Party Congress, the first since 1997. He also commutes most of the death row prison sentences to 30 years to life. Because of several delays and postponements, the congress didn't actually meet until April 2011.
December 13, 2008 - Makes first international trip as president, visiting Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez.
March 2, 2009 - Reorganizes his Cabinet, replacing long-time aides to his brother Fidel.
April 6, 2009 - Meets with visiting members of the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus.
March 22, 2011 - Fidel Castro says that he resigned all his state and political positions, including head of the Communist Party, on July 31, 2006, and never tried to resume his positions.
April 16, 2011 - Opens the long-delayed Communist Party congress by declaring leaders should be limited to two five-year terms in office.
April 19, 2011 - Cuba's Communist Party elects President Raul Castro to succeed his older brother Fidel Castro as head of the country's highest political body and only legal party.
March 27, 2012 - Castro meets privately with Pope Benedict XVI during the pontiff's visit to Cuba. Castro agrees to the Pope's request to make Good Friday on April 6, 2012 a national holiday. It is only the second time since 1959 that the government has recognized a religious holiday.