Cuba replaces foreign investment minister Lomas
Wed Nov 12, 10:08 pm ET
HAVANA – 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.