Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez, promoted to Minister of Transportation
By Fabian Flores (Café Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES — Cuban President Raul Castro moved some of the pieces on the Armed Forces game board this Wednesday by replacing the Minister of Transportation, Brigadier General Cesar Ignacio Arocha Macid, with Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, who had been working as the first vice-minister of the Ministry of the Economy and Planning.
The brief announcement, read over Cuba’s National TV News and published by official newspapers on Thursday, referred to the decision as a promotion for Yzquierdo.
“Comrade Yzquierdo Rodriguez, member of the Politburo, a mechanical engineer, has been entrusted with different responsibilities within the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the economy, acting as company manager, Minister of the Economy and Planning and Vice-Chair of the Council of Ministers,” the communiqué explained.
The note adds that Arocha Macid will be “assigned other tasks,” an expression which, in Cuba’s official lingo, almost always denotes replacement due to inaptitude.
In fact, what Raul Castro has done is move some of his trusted pawns (both with a military background) up the ladder. The 69-year-old Yzquierdo again enjoys the support of the leader after being replaced by Marino Murillo as Minister of the Economy and Planning, a position he held from 2011 to 2014.
Everything suggests that the outing of 56-year-old General Arocha isn’t exactly part of a “renewal process,” as the communiqué points out. Unofficial versions of this development invoke the continuing crisis in the transportation sector, both in Havana and interprovincial routes.
Arocha had been Minister of Transportation since 2010. The transportation and infrastructure sector is also overseen by another military officer who is absolutely trusted, General Antonio Enrique Luzon Batle, who supervises this economic sector from his position as Vice-Chair of the Council of Ministers.
Nearly 65 percent of high officials on the Council of Ministers and economic planning departments are military officers who had links to the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior in recent times.