Manuel Marrero Cruz appointed as Cuba’s first PM in more than 40 years
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s first prime minister in more than four decades (40 years). Marrero Cruz who was named prime minister for a five-year term, has served as Cuban tourism minister for 16 years. He is an architect by trade and has helped boost Cuba’s economy by making tourism one of the engines of growth.
History: The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then-revolutionary leader and Cuba’s last prime minister Fidel Castro. In December 1976, Fidel Castro took the title of president of the State Council, which replaced the posts of president and prime minister. This makes Marrero Cruz first appointed Prime Minister of Cuba since 1976.
New Constitution: In February 2019, Cuban voters approved a new constitution to replace 1976 Soviet-era charter enacted under Fidel Castro. The Prime Minister’s post was reinstated under the rules of this newly passed constitution for communist-run island. However, under the new constitution, the Communist Party still remains the only political party allowed in Cuba, as well as it remains the guiding force for all government policy.
Apart from Prime Minister, Deputy prime minister and other members of the Council of Ministers were also appointed. Diaz-Canel remains head of state and Raul Castro remains the first secretary of Communists and the real power remains in the hand of the two. The prime minister will manage day-to-day operations but will still report to president.
However, Critics highlights that any such changes are purely cosmetic as the Cuban Communist Party and military remain the only two real decision-making institutions in country.