Nov 12, 2008
HAVANA (AP) — Cuba replaced its foreign investment minister Wednesday in
a high-profile Cabinet change, but did not explain the move.
A statement read during the communist island's nightly newscast said the
Communist Party's Politburo "decided to liberate" Marta Lomas from the
position. It did not give a reason, and it was not clear if she will
take on a new governmental role.
She will be replaced by former U.N. Ambassador Rodrigo Malmierca, whom
the statement praised as an experienced diplomat and leader.
The 24-member Politburo is headed by Fidel Castro, 82 years old and
ailing, who stepped down from the presidency in February in favor of his
younger brother Raul.
Havana's communist government controls well over 90 percent of the
economy, but the island created joint business ventures with foreign
enterprises and began encouraging foreign tourism en masse in the early
1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union crippled its economy.
As foreign investment minister, Lomas helped negotiate contracts with
trade delegations from foreign governments and foreign business leaders.