Tuesday, 16 Oct 2018

Cuba elects nine new ministers, but Castro’s old guard remains

The Council of Ministers serving Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Saturday has nine new members, but also continuity with the advice of its predecessor Raúl Castro.

Díaz-Canel, 58, who was promoted to Cuban presidency on 19 April when Castro retired, was born after the Cuban Revolution of 1959, but the new Council of Ministers shows that his government is not ready yet to deviate from the old guard. It still includes aging "historicos" who fought in the revolution.

Díaz-Canel serves as President of the Council of Ministers and the Council of State, and Cuban observers had anticipated his prime minister as a way of measuring whether he could begin from the long shadow of Castro, who is still head of the Cuban Communist Party is to break out.

The Cuban parliamentary group approved the election of Salvador Valdés Mesa, who was also elected first vice-president of the State Council in April. As a former worker leader, he joined the ranks of the revolutionaries as a teenager.

Remains of Castro's Council of Ministers, who remained as vice presidents, were: Ramiro Valdés, an 86-year-old revolutionary commander who also serves as vice-president in the State Council; Gene. Ulises Rosales del Toro, 76, founder of the Communist Party of Cuba; and Ricardo Cabrisas, 81, who had served as Minister of Economy and Planning

Another soldier, José Amado Ricardo Guerra, remains secretary of the Council of Ministers. [194559004] Inés María Chapman, a hydraulic engineer who had headed the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources, and Roberto Morales Ojeda, a doctor who has served as Minister of Health since 2013, were promoted to Vice President. Both Chapman and Morales were also promoted to Vice-President of the State Council in April

Joining the Council of Ministers will be José Ángel Portal Miranda. He replaces Morales as Minister of Public Health and Antonio Rodríguez Rodríguez, who takes over Chapman's former job as President of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources.

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