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On Cuba's national holiday, Raul Castro says higher production will help the economy. Nick Miroff

HOLGUIN, Cuba — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro was famous for his marathon speeches and unflinching stamina, delivering grand, looping disquisitions that could last for hours in the broiling sun.

But on Sunday, the national holiday marking the beginning of the Cuban Revolution, Castro’s successor and younger brother Raul was brief and direct in his state-of-the-union-style address — in keeping with his reputation as a practical man with little patience for the island’s plodding bureaucracy.

His message was also a sobering one.

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