Cuba Ousts Murillo as Economy Minister

VP Ricardo Cabrisas appointed new Minister of Economy and Planning

Marino Murillo. Foto: Ladyrene Pérez/Cubadebate.
Marino Murillo. Foto: Ladyrene Pérez/Cubadebate.

HAVANA TIMES — Raul Castro, with the approval of the Council of State, today removed the Minister of Economy and Planning, Marino Murillo, and appointed Ricardo Cabrisas, one of Cuba’s six vice presidents to replace him, reported El Demajagua the official online publication of Granma province.

The official note says Murillo will now “focus his efforts on tasks related to updating the Cuban economic and social model, adopted by the 6th and 7th congress of the Party.”

Ricardo Cabrisas. Foto:
Ricardo Cabrisas. Foto:

Without giving any reasons for removing Murillo, the point man of the Cuban economy, the Council of State praised the “extensive experience” of Cabrisas “in different government responsibilities and important missions.”

The note also announced the destitution of Higher Education Minister Rodolfo A. Alarcon and replacing him with the deputy minister Loidi Jose R. Sabol.  Like in the case of Murillo no reasons were given for the removal of Alarcon.

Last week the minister of culture, Julian Gonzalez, was removed and the former minister Abel Prieto returned to the post.

47 thoughts on “Cuba Ousts Murillo as Economy Minister

  • In the meantime everything is still the same in Cuba as usual.

  • I have look at some of my posts..

  • I’ll try to arrange for it to be in colour.

  • I think I’ll wait for the movie. Maybe it will make more sense.

  • You are unable to illustrate one error in my book. For a Mennonite supporter of the communist regime, that only leaves you with the option to try to abuse. But you are not very good at it!

  • Do I hear religious bigotry Ben or are you reflecting policy of the Mennonite Church? I note that your colleague Conrad Ermle says that the Mennonite Church now favours a communist dictatorship.

  • If you think what I posted was a compliment, you’ve actually got more of an imagination than I thought. “Horror” category ? I was thinking of a category more like a “Fantasy” Now there’s another compliment for you!

  • So now you are no longer a “conservative Republican”? In mentioning the Republican candidate I had assumed that you meant what you wrote, but am relieved by your current disclosure – are you now a Democrat?
    If you care to research my contributions to these pages over the years, you will find that I have consistently expressed my detestation of all dictators – including Batista, Pinochet and the Castro brothers.
    I didn’t quite get your operatic reference?

  • It’s a good idea Ben and thank you for the compliment. I guess that you know naught of the people I discussed, of their respective roles and of the indications of their respective ambitions, so your ignorance accounts for your second comment.
    I would be very interested in an analysis cooked up between Conrad Ermle and yourself, as I lack the religious persuasion of both of you.
    I can understand you thinking that the description I have given is appropriate for the “Science Fiction” category, but the two groups I have described would be better represented in the “Horror” category.

  • Carlyle, your efforts at trying to make up things to smear people you don’t know is laughable, especially considering that you apparently believe your right to ostracize others is uniquely yours. So, please tell me who my “candidate for the US. presidential election” is. {Actually, it’s none of the contenders and I prefer Kathy Castor down in Tampa.). AND NOW YOU KNOW!! If my thinking doesn’t coincide with yours, HEY, I’m really sorry. Your compassion for Cubans on the island has never and will never equate to mine or to Ms. Castor’s, That’s my humble opinion based on your dire one-sidedness. According to you, Batista and Luciano were 100% right and Castro and Celia Sanchez 100% wrong. That viewpoint is ridiculously simplistic.

  • One piece of positive news that I took note of recently was the announcement that the Cuban Government will not allow the construction or the opening of a mosque anywhere in the country.

  • Wow! Somebody finally told MacDuff the truth, but I doubt if he can comprehend it. He only sees things in black and white. You sure wonder what the Castro boys ever did to him. Poor fella.

  • It seems either you can’t read or you don’t want to “see”. Even your handlers agree all kinds of good things are happening in Cuba.

  • Bob, I would agree that US citizens have only two political choices and that in consequence each of the two parties contains a very broad spectrum of views. But Raih Haney has in these columns described himself as “conservative Republican. That is a far more precise description and is in contradiction to the views he expresses in these pages where he is an ardent supporter of socialism. Churchill very accurately said: “the inherent vice of socialism is the equal spreading of misery.”
    I understand your wish to remain aloof from Cuba’s politics. But communism is not content to remain within the boundaries of one island and the Castro regime has endeavored to spread their beliefs far beyond the island. For example, military involvement in pursuit of their purpose in thirteen other countries plus funding Dr, Ernesto Guevara’s foray into Bolivia, the formation of CELAC with its HQ divided between Havana and Caracas and with its defined purpose of spreading “socialismo” throughout Latin America.
    The history of communism (when I use the expression of socialism or socialismo with regard to Cuba I am using the definition of Fidel Castro, as I am not opposed to people expressing democratic socialist views as they recognize similarly the RIGHT to differ in free societies) is of oppression, dictatorship, opposition to Human Rights as defined by the UN and eradication of those who actively oppose their views – purges, imprisonment in both jails and gulags and perceivable repression.
    Those in Cuba who are opposed to the Castroi family communist regime are not as you know, permitted to express their view as criticism of the regime is a criminal offence.
    Whereas there are those like yourself who endeavor to sit of the fence, there are those – similar to me – who do think that with regard to communism, one is either for or against. I find it impossible to behave as a hermaphrodite. .

  • A nonsensical response lends no credit or support to your categorical statement. You have no facts upon which to base your assertion Terry only a desire to mislead. Don’t make the mistake of mimicking Conrad Ermle. You have some knowledge of Cuba and you know that what I wrote is correct.

  • I can see this book easily being turned into a movie. I think it would be best classified in the Science Fiction category. What an imagination you have!

  • Circles, anyone who has been following the developments in Cuba for some time already knows about the many positive changes that have transpired within the last 5+ years. With respect, I’m sure you already know too. Although I enjoy posting here on occasion, I’m not obsessed to the point of feeling obligated to always prove my point…especially when everything related to my point is already available in the public domain.

  • Caryle: I am afraid that you are using your very broad brush and palette consisting only of black and white to classify everyone else in absolute terms as you seem to be.

    I can assure you that being Republican does not mean someone is “right winger”, Nor do all Republicans support the party candidate for President. Trump does have more support than any other candidate but not majority. You even imply that being Republican means one does not have compassion for the Cuban people.

    You also imply that anyone whose interest in Cuba is not exclusively anti-Castro is a supporter of such.

    Please realize there are some of us with involvement and strong connections to Cuba who choose to not involve ourselves in Cuban politics. We would be strongly offended if Cubans attempted to involve themselves in our home country politics and therefore use that philosophy with theirs.

  • Carlyle, the list of other “positive news” regarding Cuba is so vast that I’d be here for an hour creating that list. You know as well as I do everything positive that has happened in Cuba in recent memory. It’s amusing that you like to play dumb when it conveniently suites you. You’re losing credibility with me…I don’t have time for games. Give your head a shake.

  • It was the fallacy of ‘change’ occurring in Cuba which prompted me to write a book on behalf of Cubans, who if writing a similar one would no doubt be jailed.
    I am aware Terry that Cubans can now actually stay in hotels in their own country if they have the resources, rather than be evicted as previously by security.
    I am aware that Cubans can now sell and buy the houses in which they live but that few with an average wage of $20.68 per month can afford such purchase. I am aware that if they have the odd $85,000 to spare they can purchase a five year old Peugeot car from the State agency and I am aware that Cubans no longer have to obtain the notorious carta blanca in addition to a passport to leave Cuba.
    These changes have all occurred during the dictatorship of Raul Castro, but have made little difference to the lives of the impoverished people.
    Now perhaps you would care to list any other “positive news”?
    As a side comment it has taken the same five years for a spaceship to visit Jupiter. Mars was easy!

  • Do please relate to us the “good news” coming out of Cuba.

  • Carlyle, have you been living on Mars for the past 5 years?? How can you even begin to imply that there’s been no positive news coming out of Cuba? It’s absolutely ridiculous of you to suggest otherwise.

  • Can’t you read? All kinds of good news is coming out of Cuba almost every day. Even the Americans agree with that.

  • I cannot speak for Moses, but feel obliged to inquire if you know of any positive news coming out of Cuba?
    For the people of Cuba, nothing has changed, they remain subjected to the power and control of the imposed Castro regime.
    When freedom of speech and recognition of human rights is announced, I will be one of the first to join the Cuban people in cheering!
    Does that make me a conservative?

  • You must be the first Republican – and you claim to be a “conservative” one, to be neither a left-winger or right winger – I suppose that like your candidate for the US Presidential election, you are confused about your actual position within the political spectrum.
    To claim that you are anything other than a supporter of repressive communism does indeed seem somewhat strange to those who have read your contributions here in Havana Times.
    However, it is good to read that you have compassion for 11 million of the 11.1 million Cubans subjected to Castro family communist dictatorship and refused the right to have the freedom of expression which you enjoy.

  • I’m afraid britbob that most of those contributing to Havana Times, give precedence to discussing Cuba. But you should be encouraged by Macri being elected to office and Kirchner being dumped. Kirchner and her husband before her made use of that last resort for those in the political doldrums by invoking nationalism – in their case the Falklands. Macri will put the issue on the back back burner!

  • Of the Old Guard in Cuba, Cabrisas is the strongest advocate for economic diversity as opposed to relying too much on the Soviet Union, Venezuela, etc. He has initiated and signed, on behalf of Cuba, economic agreements with Austria, Finland, etc. As Cabrisas takes over the island’s top economic position, the “negative” aspect relates to the topical reason, which is the dire economic straits caused by a Perfect Storm — Cuban mistakes, the embargo, the political and economic problems in Venezuela and Brazil, etc. Oxfam, which is composed of 18 organizations that fight poverty in the world, FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME has its leader and her top aides in Cuba right now devoting its efforts to fight Cuba’s Perfect Storm poverty, impending blackouts, food shortages, etc. Yesterday she lauded Cuba’s “equality” and suggested it is one reason the U. S. “is so hostile” to the island. Maybe, but the main reason, I believe, remains the revenge motives of two generations of visceral and gluttonous Cuban exiles and their easy alignment with the necessary, self-serving right-wingers in the U. S. Congress and Republican administrations. {I’m a lifelong conservative Republican but not a right-winger or a left-winger. That gives me the freedom to feel compassion for 11 million innocent Cubans on a vulnerable, coveted island}.

  • Please share even one anecdote from the book that you find “not credible” and by all means explain why. Your comments tend to be full of unsubstantiated attacks. For once, back your smack up with some facts.

  • Why is this negative news to you?

  • You are unqualified to know whether my book is credible as you have never been to Cuba. But I can understand your shock at finding that your mental concept is unrelated to the recorded reality.

  • I take it from your comment Rich that you regard Murillo being fired as: “negative news out of Cuba.” Is it your opinion that Cabrisas isn’t up to the job?

  • I read your “book”. I can’t believe you are pushing that thing every chance you get. It is not credible.

  • My, my!! Moses and Carlyle pouncing and cheerleading any negative news out of Cuba. Was the U. S. awash with propagandists prior to January 1, 1959?

  • Why not provide your own?

  • Cabrisas is ex-military. Raul always defaults to his military base. When things get really bad, control of the economy by the military ensures the continuity of power with the Castro oligarchy.

  • The “ship” sank a long time ago.

  • Minister of the Economy is one step below the Council of Ministers. Whatever title his new job brings, it is a demotion from being a Minister. In Cuba, anytime you hear about a job that “oversees”, it means that you don’t have a staff. In Cuba, if you don’t have anyone reporting to you, your job is bullsh%t. He was sacked.

  • He wasn’t sacked, they moved him to a position where he can be more useful to them. I read the whole announcement in the Cuban website and they seem happy with his capabilities. They want him to oversee the whole “model change” process across all ministries and institutions. This article was taken from BBC, the one from Fox is more according to the reality.

  • I think that the plot thickens Griffin.Of necessity when writing my book, I was obliged to look at the future. Forecasting the future always involves a lot of ‘ifs’ as history does demonstrate that political change is frequently a consequence of unexpected events. For example the changes in the UK during the last three weeks demonstrate that.
    My forecast was that there is a potential for a major showdown in 2018 when Raul, assuming he is still alive being 87 by then, steps aside as President – but not necessarily Head of the military. There are then two potentially competitive groups to assume power, the political administrative “troika” of Diaz-Canel, Bruno Rodriguez and Marino Murillo all under 60 years of age and secondly Generals Luis Rodriguez Callejas and Alejandro Castro Espin, respectively Raul’s son-in-law and son. Rodriguez Callejas as Head of GAESA controls over 80% of Cuba’s economy and Castro Espin is the Director General of Intelligence at MININT – a post significantly formerly held by Cabrisas.
    It is the history of communist regimes that they revert to becoming dictatorships and under dictatorships only one person can hold ultimate power. More than one of the five I have mentioned has a lust for power. In making the change from Marino Murillo to Ricardo Cabrisas, Raul is strengthening the cause of his direct family and weakening that of the “troika”.
    Cabrisas is now 79 years old (born 1937). He actually holds the rank of General. If there is a showdown, the military will hold the key position and their funding comes from GAESA!
    This change was clearly planned by Raul for some time. That explains why Cabrisas had so many overseas meetings in June to discuss economic relationships with other countries. Successive actions by Raul Castro provide ample evidence of calculated ruthlessness and “street smarts”. Is he not only protecting his own interests but also those of his family?
    As the economy deteriorates further (how can it do otherwise?) the population will become ever more disenchanted with the regime and many having experienced the “special period” will not be prepared to experience another. There is no potential for an armed revolution, but there is potential for a so-called “orange revolution” similar to those of Eastern Europe.
    The Cuban military will be loath to use armed force against their own people.
    All this indicates a prolonged period of pain for the people of Cuba most of whom have only ever known the imposed power and control of the communist regime.
    History however demonstrates that whereas communism can endeavor to contain and control, it cannot quench the thirst for freedom that is a natural desire by mankind including Cubans.

  • Another incompetent analysis of someone who is clueless about Cuba!

  • “The rats are leaving the ship”
    You and those who think like you have been saying that for 50+ years yet the ship has not sunk!

  • Nothing like a left-wing evil usurpers cause as a bit of distraction politics. Also used by Cristina Kirchner, Maduro, Ortega and Correa at South American conferences – Raul Castro has always been a strong supporter of Argentina’s Malvinas claim but haven’t human rights changed? And what are the merits of that sovereignty claim?

  • Is Cabrisis a dull functionary yes-man or a man with new ideas? I suspect the former. Raul isn’t looking to solve the country’s problems, he’s just covering his ass.

  • Yep, it is hard to arrive at any conclusion other than Murillo is being the scapegoat. It has been quite obvious for years that one of Cuba’s economic lifelines, Venezuela, has been in serious economic trouble. Then when the price of crude oil began its freefall and the Saudis said they would not participate in any production cutbacks to bolster the price, the future economic / energy supply problems of Cuba became obvious to even the most amateur economist.

    Raul is not stupid. Not even his biggest detractors claim that. So he had to see this problem coming well over a year ago. There are no good solutions or much that could be done to prepare. One really wonders the logic of forecasting a 4% growth rate with this information. it will be interesting to see if the future every sheds any light on the Cuban government thinking.

  • What’s most interesting about this shake-up is that Raul’s choice to replace Murillo is someone less qualified to run the economy but presumably more loyal to Raul and the failed dictatorship. I would not be surprised to learn that Murillo wanted to take the economy in a more capitalist direction and was rebuffed. Rather than resign, which would look bad for the Castros, he was publicly fired. This way it looks like Raul knows what he’s doing. The rats are leaving the ship!

  • Raul is now flailing around looking for scapegoats to avoid looking in the mirror. Cuba is facing increasing turbulence with the pressures of the economic mess in Venezuela coupled with the declining production of virtually every sector of the Cuban economy.
    The incompetence of the Castro family communist regime has been increasingly evident and the oppressed people of Cuba inevitably bear the consequences.
    For those within the hierarchy the predominant question will simply be: “Whose head will roll next?”

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