Raul Castro Re-Elected First Secretary Of The Communist Party Of Cuba / 14ymedio

Cuban President Raul Castro and former president Fidel Castro, on Tuesday at the VII Congress of the CCP. (EFE)
Cuban President Raul Castro and former president Fidel Castro, on Tuesday at the VII Congress of the CCP. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE (14ymedio), Havana, 19 April 2016 – The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) Tuesday re-elected the country’s president, Raul Castro, as first secretary of the organization, a position he has occupied since 2011, when he replaced his brother Fidel Castro.

The newly elected PCC Central Committee also ratified Jose Ramon Machado Ventura as deputy party secretary, a position he also held since the previous Congress of the organization, held five years ago.

After three days of meetings, the Seventh Party Congress is closing today, a day when the new composition of the bodies of the party and the Central Committee, the Political Bureau and the Secretariat was announced.

The Politburo now consists of 17 members, with five new members including the sevretary general of the official union, the Cuba Workers Center (CTC), Ulises Guilarte; Health Minister Roberto Morales; and the general secretary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), Teresa Amarelle.

Completing the list are two women from academia, the rector of the University of Information Sciences (UCI), Miriam Nicado; and the directive of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Cuba (CIGB), Marta Ayala.

In the new composition of the Politburo, no longer members are General of the Armed Forces Abelardo Colome Ibarra, who resigned as Minister of the Interior last October for health reasons; and Adel Yzquierdo, Minister of Transport since September.

Remaining in the Politburo are the first and second secretaries of the PCC, Raul Castro and Machado Ventura;  first Deputy Prime Minister, Miguel Diaz-Canel; Economy Minister Marino Murillo; Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez; Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Ramiro Valdes; and deputy chairman of the State Council, Salvador Valdes Mesa.

Also continuing as members are the President of the National Assembly, Esteban Lazo; Minister of the Armed Forces (FAR), Leopoldo Cintra Frias; the first deputy minister of the FAR, Alvaro Lopez Miera; the deputy minister of the FAR, Ramon Espinosa; and the first secretary of the PCC in Havana, Mercedes Lopez.

The new Central Committee, the highest governing body of the Party between congresses, is composed of 142 members, with an average age of 54, lower than the average age of the previous committee elected in 2011, which was made up of 116 members.

In the new committee the representation of women reached 44%, higher than previously, and the percentage of blacks and mixed-race also increased, now accounting for 36%.

The Secretariat of the PCC remains almost unchanged ind its composition and consists of, in addition to Raul Castro and Machado Ventura, Abelardo Alvarez, Jose Ramon Balaguer, Olga Lidia Tapia, Jorge Cuevas and Omar Ruiz. The only novelty is the departure of Victor Gaute, chief of the civilian mission of collaboration in Venezuela.