14ymedio’s Faces of 2020: Alejandro Gil, Minister of Economy

Alejandro Gil, Minister of Economy, in one of his many appearances on the Roundtable TV program.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2020 — Almost unknown when Miguel Díaz-Canel appointed him Minister of Economy and Planning of Cuba, he has become a key man on the island in a year in which the pandemic has finished sinking an economy that was already in a coma.

Of the same generation as the president, Alejandro Gil has always been a civil servant and held the position of vice minister when the octogenarian Ricardo Cabrisas was in charge of the portfolio.

From his personal life it is known that he is the brother of Cuban television presenter Vicky Gil, now a resident of Spain, who has described the minister in his social networks as “a brilliant, simple, dedicated, studious, intelligent and self-sacrificing man” who “lives with his family in the same dilapidated apartment as always. He does not benefit from his position. He only lives to work and to support a dying economy. He changed his life of privilege in England as manager of the mixed company Seguros Caudal to return to Cuba and work from dawn to dusk without perks or comforts. “

Whether or not this is the case, Cubans have seen him recite the official discourse without any news of the great deal that could be expected for a man at the helm of the economy at a key moment. The most far-reaching reforms carried out this year, with monetary unification at the head, have been reserved for Marino Murillo, while he has been in charge of minimizing criticism of the expansion of foreign currency stores, which since this year sell food and personal hygiene and cleaning products, to the annoyance of citizens.

In May he dared to spill the beans at a meeting of the Council of Ministers in which he admitted the seriousness of the crisis. His words were picked up by the official press, which was forced to withdraw the article, letting the orthodox version of avoiding pessimism prevail.

See more 14ymedio’s series Faces of 2020


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