Fidel Castro backs Cuba sackings

Former president accuses ex-ministers of being seduced by "the honey of power".

    Roque, left, and Lage were both dismissed from
    key positions[AFP]

    Castro, who resigned the Cuban presidency last year due to ill health, also said the men were removed as "the external enemy filled itself with expectations for them," although it was not clear who this referred to.

    Both Roque and Lage had been mooted as possible future leaders of Cuba after the Castro brothers leave the Cuban political scene.

    It is not clear what the moves will mean for future US-Cuba relations, although Barack Obama, the US president, has said he was willing to talk with Cuban leaders and wants to loosen restrictions on travel to the island by Cuban-Americans.

    Major reshuffle

    At least 20 officials were shifted, demoted or promoted in Cuba's government on Monday, in a move the government said was intended to make Cuba's government more compact and functional and to work towards "perfecting" the Cuban system.

    Roque who had been Havana's chief diplomat since May 1999, was replaced by his deputy, Bruno Rodriguez.

    And Lage, a vice-president who had far-reaching economic powers, was also removed from his post as executive secretary of the Council of Ministers, but it was not clear whether he would stay on as one of the vice-presidents of the Council of State.

    He was replaced as cabinet secretary by General Jose Amado Ricardo Guerra, a former top military official.

    Lage had been credited with helping to save Cuba's economy by implementing economic reforms after aid from the Soviet Union ended in the early 1990s, while Perez Roque was once personal secretary to Fidel and a former leader of the Communist Party's youth organisation.

    In addition Jose Luis Rodriguez, the economy minister, Raul de la Nuez, the minister of foreign trade, and Jose Luis Gacia, the minister of economy and planning, were also removed from their posts.

    Georgina Barreiro Fajardo, the finance minister, and Alfredo Morales Cartaya, the labour minister, were also fired and the ministries of fishing and food combined as part of the changes, as were the ministries of foreign investment and foreign trade.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months