Cuba Has New Economy Minister and Reform Boss

By Circles Robinson

A street in Trinidad, Cuba. Photo: Elio Delgado.

HAVANA TIMES, March 26 — Until yesterday Cuba had an Economy and Planning minister who was also in charge of implementing the reforms in the country’s struggling economy. Now the government of Raul Castro has decided the job should be separated.

In the shuffle, the Council of State, the highest organ of power in the island’s political system, announced that Deputy Minister of Economy, Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, 65, would take over the top post previously held by Marino Murillo, 50.

The official note states that Murrillo, who is the Chairman of the Economic Policy Commission of the upcoming April 16-19 Communist Party Congress, will now concentrate on that activity while also having oversight control of the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

Correspondents in Havana report that it is not clear if Murrillo actually got a promotion as a new type of economic czar or whether he suffered a demotion in the shake up, possibly over the slow moving implemenation of the reforms.

Both Murrilo and Yzquierdo have a background with the Cuban military which controls numerous business interests on the island.