Cuba Announces Government Restructuring

Campaign News | Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Cuban Council of State released an official statement Monday informing of recent changes in the government.

These follow President Raul Castro's remarks during the constituent session of the Cuban parliament on February 24, 2008, on the necessity to create a more compact and functional structure of government and a better distribution of responsibilities, the statement explains.

According to the official communication, the Council of State agreed to release Jose Luis Rodriguez Garcia from his duties as vice president of the Council of Ministers and as Minister of Economy and Planning and named in his place Marino Murillo Jorge, who was minister of Domestic Trade.

Vice president of the Council of Ministers Otto Rivero Torres was released from his duties taking into account that he had concluded passing on the programs under his supervision to the relevant investment institutions. Vice-president of government Ramiro Valdes Menendez will be in charge of the coordination and control of such programs.

The ministries of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation were merged as the Ministry for Foreign Trade and Investment, with Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz named as minister. Minister for Foreign Trade Raul de la Nuez Ramírez was relieved of his duties, says the report.

The ministries of the Food Industry and the Fishing Industry also merge, with Maria del Carmen Concepcion Gonzalez named as Minister of the Food Industry, which will include the activities of the fishing industry. Alejandro Roca Iglesias and Alfredo Lopez Valdes were released from their positions as ministers of the Food and Fishing Industries, respectively.

Likewise, the Cuban Council of State decided to release Felipe Perez Roque from his duties as Minister for Foreign Affairs, and promote to the position current First Deputy Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla.

The Minister of Finances and Prices Georgina Barreiro Fajardo was replaced by Lina Pedraza Rodriguez, who used to oversee global economy institutions as member of the Secretariat of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee.

Brigadier General Salvador Pardo Cruz, who was previously the director general of the military industry conglomerate, was named minister of the Metal and Heavy Industry, replacing Fernando Acosta Santana in that position.

First Deputy Minister for Domestic Trade, Jacinto Angulo Pardo, was promoted to minister.

The Minister of Work and Social Security Alfredo Morales Cartaya was released from his duties and Margarita Marlene Gonzalez Fernandez was promoted to that position.

Meanwhile, it was decided to appoint former secretary of the Council of State, Jose M. Miyar Barrueco, as Minister of Science, Technology and Environment; And National Assembly Deputy Homero Acosta Alvarez was named Interim Secretary of the Council of State. Homero's appointment will be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly of the People's Power(Cuban parliament).

Carlos Lage Davila was released from his duties as Secretary of the Council of Ministers and the current head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ministry's Secretariat, Brigadier General Jose Amado Ricardo Guerra was appointed to the post.

The official statement quotes Raul Castro as saying: "institutionalism is one of the cornerstones of the invulnerability of the Revolution in the political arena, that's why we have to keep working on improving it. We can never think that what we have done is perfect."

According to the official statement, the current structure will be further analyzed with the objective of gradually making it even more compact and efficient.

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