When he took office in February of last year, Raul Castro made it clear that he didn’t like the government organization chart he inherited, and he intended to streamline it. An announcement from the Council of State today tells us that he did some streamlining: the Ministry of Fisheries is now folded into the Ministry of Food Production, and the Ministry of Foreign Commerce is now folded into the Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation.
Apart from that, the announcement seems to indicate that Raul is putting some of his own people into key positions, most notably with the replacement of foreign minister Felipe Perez Roque by his deputy, Bruno Rodriguez.
Economics czar Carlos Lage is out of his post as secretary of the Council of Ministers but remains Vice President of the Council of State, which means that he keeps his more important job, the one that puts him in the line of succession.
Beyond that, the terse announcement gives no indication of Lage’s future role. It does minimize the importance of the job Lage is leaving, noting that it has no “decisionmaking capacity in government matters, nor does it have any protagonism at all in the leadership of the government.”
Does any of this have implications for relations with the new U.S. Administration? My guess is no, unless the new foreign minister announces new policies or sets a new tone. Given that Raul Castro has himself stated clearly his own views on relations with the