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The Ministers Not Included on the PCC's Central Committee

Apparently they are in Diaz-Canel's crosshairs, and could be dismissed at any moment.

La Habana
Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero, the former Minister of Agriculture, reporting to Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero, the former Minister of Agriculture, reporting to Miguel Díaz-Canel. Vanguardia

The Cuban ministers who were not included on the Central Committee of the Communist Party (PCC) at that organization's 8th Congress should take stock of their situations. Evidently, there is a reason they were not chosen to form part of the PCC's highest body, along with their colleagues who were.

The argument that some ministries must be more important than others quickly falls apart: is the Ministry of Internal Trade really more important than the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment? Of course not.

And yet, Betsy Díaz Velázquez is on the Central Committee, while Rodrigo Malmierca was left out of the powerful body.

Of course, one of the factors that could explain these exclusions is the deficiencies evidenced by the ministers left out. Malmierca himself has not managed to bring about any appreciable increase in the amount of foreign investment on the island, despite appeals by the leadership to expedite this process.

René Mesa Villafaña, at Construction, has been unable to follow through on the housing construction plan, especially those for those people declared vulnerable.

Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, at Transportation, has not been able to prevent the country from paying large sums of money for the demurrage of ships transporting goods to Cuba. The port-transport-internal economy triad continues to be a problem for the national economy.

Manuel Sobrino, in charge of the Food Industry, was recently chided by Díaz-Canel himself due to the limited application of science and innovation to his ministry's work.

In the case of Alpidio Alonso, despite what the elite in power claims, it seems that, deep down, the Castroist leadership is not satisfied with the response of the Culture area's directors to the protests of  the young artists and members of the San Isidro Movement. Here it is worth mentioning that the president of the UNEAC, Luis Morlote, will not be a member of the Central Committee of the PCC.

Marta Wilson, at the head of the Central Bank of Cuba, was recently criticized at a Round Table by Deputy Prime Minister Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca for the obstacles that the banking system forces agriculture workers to deal with in the context of the Ordering Task.

As for the head of Agriculture, Gustavo Rodríguez Rollero, he did not even make it to the 8th Congress, having been removed from office a few days before the event began; he never did manage to make good on his promise of delivering 30 pounds of groceries a month to each consumer.

But neither ought we think that Díaz-Canel only snubs those whose work he deems wanting. The young leader prefers loquacious ministers who are comfortable in front of a microphone, and who provide lengthy explanations, not delegating to other officials speeches that they should give themselves.

In light of this, it is understandable that Livan Arronte, at the Ministry of Energy and Mines; Eloy Álvarez, at Industry; and José Ramón Saborido, at Higher Education, are all on thin ice with the president.

Perhaps that same thing was a factor in the departure of Polito Cintra Frías from the Ministry of the Armed Forces. He was excellent as a military strategist, but suffered from acute microphonobia. It is not far-fetched to suggest that since Díaz-Canel's rise to power he has undertaken a kind of purge of those leaders who shy away from speaking in public. How else can we explain the mysterious resignation of the powerful General Abelardo Colomé Ibarra as head of the Ministry of the Interior? Only those working within the ministry even knew what his voice sounded like.

In any case, the truth seems to be that the ministers who did not make the Central Committee of the ruling PCC are now in Diaz-Canel's crosshairs, and could be fired any second.

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