Rosa Elena Simeon, Cuba’s minister of science, technology and environment, has died, state television reported. She was 61.
Simeon died Friday night after a “grave and prolonged illness,” state TV reported Saturday. She had suffered from cancer for several years.
Simeon was a ranking member of Cuba’s political elite, serving on the Communist Party’s ruling Central Committee and on the Council of State, the island government’s executive body. She also was a deputy in Cuba’s National Assembly and sat on the national committee of the Federation of Cuban Women.
Holding doctorates in medicine and veterinary sciences, Simeon had served as Cuba’s Minister of Science, Technology and Environment since the cabinet post was created in 1994. Before that, she’d headed Cuba’s Academy of Sciences since 1985.
One of her chief concerns was environmental protection and educating Cubans to care about the land, water and air.
There was no immediate information on survivors or funeral plans.