Raul has been the de facto leader of Cuba since Fidel stepped aside during his 2006 health turn for the worse. Raul has opened up public discussion a little bit on the subject of economic reforms but any reforms will probably be minor such as when he pushed for private agriculture in the mid 1990s.
Raul oversaw the execution of former regime elements after the Cuban Revolution and was involved in frequent purges of the army and intelligence agencies.
The only real change that has a possibility of occurring is Cuba's relation to Venezuela. Raul has calms both personal and political with Chavez. He sees Chavez as a bombastic child who does not realize there needs to be some free market elements for a socialistic economy to survive.
The transfer from Fidel to Raul is the best possible way for a power change for the regime. This way everything is institutionalized and blessed by Fidel. If Fidel were to die while still in power there could have ben a power grab by anti-Raul Communists that could threaten the whole Communist system.
The regime's long time in power has destroyed any chance for an in-country reform movement to implement democracy. The exile community has been out of the country to long to be considered the sole reform body. For freedom to come to Cuba both internal and external parities have to collaborate.
¡Viva Una Cuba Libre!