HAVANA – Manuel Marrero, up to now Cuba’s minister of tourism, was named by the National Assembly this Saturday as prime minister of the Cuban government, a position eliminated in 1976 and reinstated in the new Constitution passed on the island last April.
The single candidacy was proposed by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and was approved by a unanimous vote of the legislature.
Marrero, 56, an architect by profession, was appointed by then-President Fidel Castro in 2004, though his name was not on the list of those who might occupy that position, and after which he became Cuba’s longest-serving minister.
Diaz-Canel made a special point, upon presenting the nomination to the legislature, of mentioning Marrero’s “honesty, hard work and fidelity to the Party of the Revolution,” together with his “rich experience in negotiating with foreign counterparts.”
Also present at the legislative session was the former president and leader of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Raul Castro, who continues to be a lawmaker representing Santiago province.
Recommendations for the post of deputy prime minister, also forwarded by Diaz-Canel, were the historic commander of the Revolution, Ramiro Valdes, 87; the up-to-now vice presidents of the Council of Ministers Roberto Morales, Ines Maria Chapman, Ricardo Cabrisas and Jose Luis Tapia; plus the current Economy Minister Alejandro Gil.
Either Morales or Chapman seemed most likely to be named deputy prime minister.
Marrero’s position at the head of the strategic Cuban Tourism Ministry will be passed along to the current first deputy minister of that office, Juan Carlos Garcia Granda.
Also designated were the new ministers of labor and social security (Marta Elena Feito), the food industry (Jorge Santiago Sobrino), industries (Eloy Alvarez), and energy and mines, (Nicolas Arrente), all ministries of great importance in the island’s current economic situation.
The president also changed the head of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), a position that is going to Martha Sabina as minister-president of the financial institution, which has been directed by Irma Margarita Martinez since 2017.