Cabrisas given challenge of delivering austerity

18 July 2016
Issue number 879

Cuba’s Council of State has announced measures that will have the effect of exercising firmer control over the management of the economy at a time of renewed austerity. It has also separated out responsibility for the management of the economy from political control of the process of economic reform and the implementation of related changes in the administrative management of the country.

On July 14 it said in a brief announcement that at the proposal of the President, the Council of State had ‘agreed to relieve ‘companero’ Marino Murillo Jorge of his responsibilities as Minister of Economy and Planning and appoint in his place Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, a Vice President of the Council of Ministers.’

It went on to say: ‘This decision reflects the need for ‘companero’ Marino Murillo, in his capacity as Vice President of the Government and Head of the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development, to focus his efforts on tasks related to the updating of the Cuban economic and social model, adopted by the 6th and the 7th Party Congresses.’

Some parts of the western media have seen this as a demotion for Vice President Murillo. However, by dividing responsibility for the overall management of the economy and planning from the so far partially unsatisfactory delivery of the recently updated ‘lineamientos’ (the national guidelines), the intention on the part of Cuba’s leadership would appear to be the introduction of rigour, greater dynamism and delivery into both processes.

The statement noted that Vice President Cabrisas ‘has extensive experience and preparation, demonstrated in the exercise of responsibilities in the government and the fulfilment of important missions, including the recent successful supervision of Cuba’s external debt restructuring process.’ It also said, apparently to emphasise the complex background against which Vice President Murillo has been trying to deliver a collegiately agreed approach to economic growth, that the work he had undertaken ‘in fulfilling the duties of the office of Minister of Economy and Planning are recognised.’

Vice President Cabrisas…

This is an extract from the Caribbean Council’s weekly Cuba Briefing, a leading publication that provides detailed and accurate news on economic, social and political developments inside Cuba to corporate interests with a long term economic relationship with the island.

The publication is available internationally on a subscription-only basis for those in business, government and the academic world who wish to understand on a weekly basis developments relating to Cuba.

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