HAVANA TIMES – The Cuban parliament on Saturday appointed former tourism minister Manuel Marrero as the island nation’s first prime minister in decades under a new constitution that seeks to decentralize the role once held by Fidel Castro, reported dpa.
Marrero, 56, will be Cuba’s first prime minister since 1976 and will share leadership responsibilities with President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Nonetheless, Raul Castro remains the most powerful politician in Cuba as the head of the Communist Party.
An architect by profession, made a name for himself within the military-run Gaviota tourism corporation before becoming tourism minister in 2004.
Fidel Castro was prime minister until 1976, when the position was abolished, and the iconic leader became both president and head of the Communist party. Castro died in 2016, a decade after ceding power to his brother Raul.
Cuba adopted a new constitution in April which allows a minor economic opening, amid concern over the deterioration of the island’s economy.
The government says the new constitution was approved by 86 per cent of the voters who cast their ballot in a referendum in February.
Despite the changes, the essence of the political system remains intact. It is a one-party system in which the Communist Party puts forward all parliamentary candidates via its nominating committees. The main difference being that Raul Castro, Miguel Diaz Canel and Manuel Marrero will now share the responsibilities formerly all under Fidel.