Castro reshuffles Cabinet again

President Raul Castro fired Cuba's transportation minister for professional mistakes and replaced the head of the Sugar Ministry after he admitted incompetence, the latest in a growing series of leadership shake-ups.

President Raul Castro has fired Cuba's Transportation Minister for professional mistakes and replaced the head of the Sugar Ministry after he admitted incompetence, the latest in a growing series of leadership shake-ups.

A statement read during the nightly newscast said Jorge Luis Sierra was removed as transportation minister, a role he got in February 2009.

Mr Sierra also forfeited his post as a vice president of the Council of Ministers, a governing body that serves as Cuba's Cabinet - although its vice presidents are not considered vice presidents of the country.

Army General Antonio Enrique Luzon replaced Mr Sierra on the council, among many military leaders to be promoted within the government.

Raul Castro served as defence minister for nearly five decades before taking over as president - first temporarily, then permanently - after his older brother, Fidel, underwent intestinal surgery in 2006.

The new Transportation Minister is Cesar Ignacio Arocha.

Mr Sierra lost his jobs due to "errors committed while in the act of carrying out his duties", the statement said, but no further details was given. A government spokeswoman said she could not add anything.

Sugar Minister Luis Manuel Avila also was dismissed, but the newscast said that "he asked for his removal, recognising the deficiencies in his work". Orlando Selso was named to the post.

On March 23, Cuba replaced Attorney General Juan Escalona Reguera, who fought under Fidel and Raul Castro in the rebel army that toppled dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day 1959. Health problems were cited as the reason.

That move came less than two weeks after the government abruptly dismissed another veteran revolutionary, Rogelio Acevedo, who had overseen its airlines and airports and as a teenager fought alongside the Castros and Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

No formal reason was given for Mr Acevedo's removal, but an opinion piece posted on a state internet site by a prominent Cuban academic referred to rumours that Mr Acevedo has been under house arrest for corruption.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox