Cuba replaces health minister, powerful figure in communist leadership for decadesBy AP
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Cuba replaces health minister in Cabinet shake-up
HAVANA — Cuba has replaced its health minister, the latest in a flurry of recent leadership shake-ups by President Raul Castro.
Jose Ramon Balaguer, 78, will rejoin the Central Committee of the Communist Party, according to a statement read Thursday night on government-run television.
It saluted Balaguer for his work, but offered few details on why he was being replaced.
Balaguer had held the post since 2004. A physician, he was a founding member of Cuba’s Communist Party and has been an ideological hard-liner for decades.
Replacing him will be 43-year-old Roberto Morales, a fellow physician who had been first vice minister of health.
Cuba provides free health care for all citizens, making the health minister an influential position.