BY FRANCES ROBLES | Miami Herald
In a surprise move, Cuban broadcasters on Monday announced a government restructuring of some of its top officials, including Vice President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque.
They were among the youngest members of a cabinet made up largely of aging revolutionary stalwarts loyal to Raúl Castro.
Lage will be replaced by Gen. José Amado Ricardo Guerra, while deputy foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez will assume Pérez Roque’s post, according to the announcement read on Cuban television as part of the midday newscast.
The reshuffling involves as many as 10 government posts, including Economy Minister José Luis Rodríguez. The announcement was from Cuba’s Council of State, the supreme governing body.
Lage, 57, was one of five vice presidents below Raúl Castro and had served as a de-facto prime minister. He was credited with helping save Cuba’s economy by designing modest economic reforms after the Soviet Union collapsed.
Pérez Roque, 43, was previously personal secretary to Fidel Castro and a former leader of the Communist Party youth organization. He had been foreign minister for almost a decade.
‘‘This is big—and big in the wrong direction,’’ said Andy Gomez, a senior fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute of Cuban and Cuban American Studies.
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I find it interesting that Perez Roque and Lage were fired or demoted. Lage is a practical economist and I have always found his words to be rational and generally free of the usual “blame the Embargo” type of talk. However, I did get the sense that he and Raul did not get along from Raul’s first days in office.
With regards to Perez Roque… good riddance. He was also a Fidel propagandist and I’m happy to see him go. Of course his deputy might be even more of an sycophant that he was. Then again, in Cuba you go along to get along unfortunately.
Watch CubaPolidata for updates. I always turn to them for anything related to the Cuban government.