14ymedio, Havana, 26 June 2018 — The plenary sessions of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) in Havana and Holguin concluded with a change in the leadership of the organization in both provinces. At the meeting, as directed by the second secretary of the PCC, José Ramón Machado Ventura, Lázara Mercedes López Acea was promoted to the Central Committee. López Acea was in charge of the PCC in the Cuban capital for nine years.
The Holguin plenary agreed to “release” Luis Antonio Torres Iribar from the position of first secretary and chose Ernesto Santiesteban Velázquez instead, according to the official newspaper Granma. Santiesteban, 52, has been a Party cadre and a professional member of the PCC executive bureau in that province for the past seven years.
In turn, Luis Antonio Torres Iríbar, 54 years old, was transferred to Havana to head the PCC in the capital, replacing López Acea, now promoted to a member of the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party. The note specifies that “from [Torres Iríbar’s] new position he will continue to support the fundamental tasks for the development of the capital.”
Last April, it was a surprise to many national and international observers when Salvador Valdés Mesa was appointed first vice president, instead of Lázara Mercedes López Acea. López Acea was the person most talked about for that responsibility, and she was also removed from the list of members of the Council of State.
In his speech after the inauguration of Miguel Díaz-Canel as president, Raúl Castro clarified that López Acea had been “released from the position of vice president of the Council of State” because she would “soon take on new responsibilities in the Central Committee of the Party.”
Several analysts consulted by 14ymedio suggest the possibility that the ex-secretary of the PCC in Havana could occupy the second most important post of the PCC, today in the hands of the orthodox Machado Ventura.
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