14ymedio, 8 July 2016 — Abel Prieto is the new Minister of Culture after Raul Castro decided to “release from his duties” the person previously responsible for this area, Julián Gonzalez Toledo.
The designation of Prieto, until now advisor to the president of the Councils of State and of Ministers, is provisional, according to the note published in the Party newspaper Granma.
González Toledo had assumed the portfolio of Culture in March 2014, after two years as deputy minister, replacing Rafael Bernal Alemany after a notorious scandal over the theft of dozens of works in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, which could have cost the outgoing minister his job.
Toledo Gonzalez previously led the National Council of Performing Arts from 1999-2011.
His last public appearance as minister occurred on July 1 when he inaugurated the new edition of the Art Fair on La Rampa, and in particular the exposition Fidel, Soldier of Ideas by photojournalists Livorio Noval and Ismael Francisco González.
Prieto, originally from Pinar del Rio, now returns to a position that he previously served in between 1997 and 2012. A graduate of the University of Havana in Hispanic Literature and author of the novel The Flight of the Cat and Other Stories, he was director of the publishing house Letras Cubanas and president of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).
As an advisor to Raul Castro, in forums with artists and youth on artists he has been prodigious in his criticisms of “new forms of cultural consumption, like that of postmodern relativism that accepts everything as good.”