Tags: cuba | shake | up

Cuba Replaces Key Leaders in Abrupt Shakeup

Monday, 02 Mar 2009 02:43 PM

HAVANA — Cuba abruptly replaced some of its most powerful and visible officials on Monday, including Vice President Carlos Lage and Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque.

The surprise shakeup, involving about 10 top officials, was announced at the end of the midday newscast by Cuba's supreme governing body, the Council of State.

Among others replaced is Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez.

Lage, 57, was one of five vice presidents below Raul Castro and had served as a de-facto prime minister. He was credited with helping save Cuba's economy by designing modest economic reforms after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Perez Roque, 43, was previously personal secretary to Fidel Castro and a former leader of the Communist Party youth organization. He had been foreign minister for almost a decade.

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