Cuba gets a Prime Minister after 43 years

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Manuel Marrero was named as the Prime Minister of Cuba by the President of the country, Miguel Diaz-Canel on Saturday. The post of prime minister has been non-existent in the country for the past 4 decades. The role was scrapped by revolutionary, Fidel Castro in 1976. Manuel Marrero was the Cuban Tourism Minister for around 16 years and now has been nominated as the Prime Minister for 5 years. Mr Marrero will now take on the responsibilities that presently fall on the president.

Marrero served as a colonel in the Cuban army before he was handed the task of heading the state’s tourism industry. Fidel Castro was the country’s last prime minister from 1959-1976, who later took over to presidential rule.

Cubadebate, a state-run news outlet stated that the prime minister will be the administrative right hand of the president of the republic. However, certain critics said that the power and decision-making capacity still rests with the communist party and military. They also feel that the decision is just cosmetic.

Mr Marrero’s appointment was unanimously agreed by all 594 members of the Cuban National Assembly. Deputy prime ministers and other members of the Council of Ministers were also declared in the session. Mr Raul Castro, former Cuban president also attended the National Assembly session on Saturday.

Granma, the state newspaper described Marrero as a political leader who emerged from the base of the tourism industry which is Cuba’s major source of foreign exchange. He was named as tourism minister by Fidel Castro in the year 2004. It has not been confirmed if he will remain the head of the ministry.

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