Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Politics News

Posted October 15, 2004 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

The Cuban government has sacked a senior minister held responsible for an energy crisis which left much of the country facing regular power blackouts.

Marcos Portal Leon was blamed for not preventing the crisis, which began when a key power plant broke down in May.

Millions of Cubans are still without electricity for several hours a day.

Mr Portal, who was appointed minister of basic industries in 1983, was also criticised by the ruling Communist party for being too “self-sufficient”.

The fall-out from the breakdown of the Antonio Guiteras power plant, in the Matanzas province east of the capital Havana, has prompted President Fidel Castro to discuss the problem on national television.

Veteran minister

An official statement issued by the Communist party praised Mr Portal’s service to Cuba throughout the 1990s, a tough economic period known as “the special period”.

But it also criticised his handling of the lucrative nickel industry, accusing him of making “grave errors”.

He was also admonished for becoming too independent in his work, often “underestimating the opinions of other experienced colleagues,” the statement said.

The BBC’s Stephen Gibbs in Havana says that Mr Portal, 59, is married to a niece of President Castro and had been seen as untouchable.

He is to be replaced by a young official in the Communist party.

The official statement described his successor, chemical engineer Yadira Garcia Vera, as “modest, capable and efficient”.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on October 16, 2004 by Ralph

    Portal is out,it is fair and resonable,but the continual
    blackout what?

Would you like to add more information?

Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
We recommend this AirBnB Food and Drink Experience... Cuban flavors: Food, Rum and Cigars
Images of Cuba
Fugue Form - Cuban art - Painting by Wifredo Lam
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review

Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy