While the Council of State’s statement gave no indication that any of the officials were being removed for bad conduct or job performance, Fidel writes that in the case of the two most mentioned in press reports, it had to do with “the honey of power,” which “awoke in them ambitions that led to an unworthy role. The external enemy filled itself with hopes about them.” If, as seems apparent, one of those two is Carlos Lage, then we should stay tuned.
With that, Fidel turned to baseball, saying it’s unacceptable that political gossip should divert attention from the World Baseball Classic, which begins this week. He talked some trash to Hugo Chavez, who still doesn’t understand “why his magnificent pitchers and batters will be defeated by our athletes.” (In that spirit, here are the 2009 World Baseball Classic schedule and brackets.
Back to the subject at hand, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether these changes point to a new direction in some area of Cuban government policy. I don’t see it, certainly not based on anything in the Council of State’s announcement.
But it is interesting to note that the announcement regarding Otto Rivero, former vice president of the Council of Ministers, says that the programs under his purview had concluded. Does that mean that the “Batalla de Ideas” is ended, or that it will no longer be funded as before?
Finally, on the bureaucratic front, the Council of State’s announcement says that further streamlining may be forthcoming in addition to the modest actions taken yesterday. (Two ministries, fishing and foreign commerce, were dissolved and folded into two others.) The announcement recalled Raul’s statement that “institutionality is one of the pillars of the invulnerability of the Revolution on the political front.”
Granma has published short bios of the new ministers.
AP summarizes the personnel changes here.
[Photo from this Australian humor website, h/t South Florida Daily Blog.]