The least surprising news out of Cuba so far this year is Raul Castro's to-the-death defense of the communist party's and his dictatorship's preeminent role on the island. There was lip service given to various economic reforms, but with his speech Castro confirmed what realistic observers of Cuba have known all along:
Raul Castro is no reformer.
At certain moments, maybe he talks the talk but only to the extent that talking about and even implementing certain reforms protect and enhance his regime's murderous grip on power. They are designed not to improve the lives of most Cuban citizens but to ensure, as Castro pronounced today, that the dictatorship survives.
Anyone -- whether the naive or uninformed' the "experts" who ought to know better; or prospective "people-to-people" tourists who only want to "help" -- who believes Raul Castro promises hope of real change, is helping his evil cause.