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Cuban government announcement, in English

Following, as translated by The Miami Herald, is the text of the official announcement issued by the Cuban Council of State.

In accord with the statements made by the President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Army Gen. Raúl Castro Ruz, in the organizational session of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly of Popular Power on Feb. 24, 2008, to the effect that "today we require a more compact and functional structure, with a smaller number of organizations in the central administration of the State and a better distribution of the functions they perform," the Council of State, at the proposal of its president, following a consultation with the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the [Communist] Party, agreed at a meeting held today to carry out the following shifts of cadres and the restructuring of some organizations of the Central Administration of the State:

To free comrade José Luis Rodríguez García from the post of Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of the Economy and Planning.

To appoint comrade Marino Murillo Jorge to the post of Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of the Economy and Planning and to free him from his responsibilities at the head of the Ministry of Domestic Trade.

To free comrade Otto Rivero Torres from his responsibilities as Vice President of the Council of Ministers, bearing in mind that he has concluded the turnover of the programs he handled to the respective investment organizations. The Vice President of Government, Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, will be in charge of their coordination and control.

To merge the ministries of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation, and to appoint comrade Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz to the post of Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, a designation that includes the activities of Economic Cooperation carried out by the nation.

To free comrade Raúl de la Nuez Ramírez from his responsibilities as Minister of Foreign Trade.

To merge the ministries of the Food Industry and Fishing Industry and to appoint comrade María del Carmen Concepción González, who was previously freed from her condition as a member of the Secretariat of the Party's Central Committee, to the post of Minister of the Food Industry, a designation that includes the activities of the Fishing Industry.

To free comrades Alejandro Roca Iglesias and Alfredo López Valdés from their posts as ministers of the Food Industry and Fishing Industry, respectively.

To free comrade Felipe Pérez Roque from his responsibilities as Minister of Foreign Relations and promote the current First Vice Minister, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, to occupy that post.

To free comrade Georgina Barreiro Fajardo from the post of Minister of Finance and Prices and to appoint in her place comrade Lina Pedraza Rodríguez, who is also freed from the condition as member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the CPC, [Communist Party of Cuba] from which she looked after the global organizations of the economy.

To free comrade Fernando Acosta Santana from the post of Minister of the Iron and Steel Industry and to promote in his place Brigade Gen. Salvado Pardo Cruz, who served as Director General of the Military Industry Union.

To promote comrade Jacinto Angulo Pardo, First Vice Minister of the Ministry of Domestic Trade to the post of Minister of this organization.

To free comrade Alfredo Morales Cartaya from the post of Minister of Labor and Social Security and to promote in his place comrade Margarita Marlene González Fernández, the current First Vice Minister of this organization.

To appoint as Minister of Science, Technology and the Environment, an organization that will look after the Scientific Pole, comrade José M. Miyar Barrueco, who was freed from his post as Secretary of the Council of State for that purpose.

To appoint on a temporary basis, subject to ratification by the National Assembly of Popular Power during the next regular term of sessions, deputy Homero Costa Alvarez in the post of Secretary of the Council of State, for the purpose of assisting and helping the President, the First Vice President, the Vice Presidents and other members of the Council of State in the performance of the attributions defined for this body in Articles 89, 90 and 93 of the Constitution of the Republic.

The post of Secretary of the Council of State is not in itself a post with powers of decision in the context of the State and does not have any leading role in the direction of the State.

To free comrade Carlos Lage Dávila of this post as Secretary of the Council of Ministers and to appoint to that responsibility the current Chief of the Secretariat of the Minister of the FAR [Revolutionary Armed Forces], Brigade Gen. José Amado Ricardo Guerra, for the purpose of assisting and helping the President of the Council of Ministers, the First Vice President and other members of its Executive Committee in the activities, in accordance with Article 97 of the Constitution of the Republic and the current legislation; therefore, this post is not legally a post with powers of decision on issues of government and does not have any leading role in the direction of the Government.

Within the framework of these decisions, the Political Bureau and the Council of State ratified the application of the statements of comrade Raúl Castro on Feb. 24, 2008, when he said: "Institutionality is one of the pillars of the Revolution's invulnerability on the political field; therefore, we must work on its constant improvement. We must never believe that what we have done is perfect."

In accordance with the above, there was agreement that there is a need to continue to study the current structure of the Government, with the objective of gradually reducing its size and elevating its efficacy.

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