President Bush says a leadership shift in Cuba to Fidel Castro's brother will not change U.S. policy toward the island.

Speaking at the White House, the president chastised many democracies for failing to speak out against the regime.

Bush said the only way the United States will improve relations with Cuba is for the Cuban government to pave the way for free and fair elections, release all political prisoners and respect human rights "in word and deed."

Raul Castro assumed Cuba's presidency when his ailing brother, Fidel, stepped down last month after decades at the helm. Raul Castro had been provisional president since his brother, who led the nation for nearly a half a century, underwent emergency surgery in July 2006.