With titles such as “Cuba’s Culture Minister Ousted,” the press has been announcing with great sensationalism that Cuba’s longtime culture minister (since 1997), Abel Prieto, “appeared to have been the biggest loser in the Communist Party Congress.” It seems that Cuba is caught in the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” predicament. What few articles mention is that, as one of the many modifications in the pipeline being made to various political and economic structures in Cuba, the Political Bureau was in the process of being streamlined, reducing it to 15 members. As Raúl Castro pointed out, “The previous had 24 members; too many.” The Congress in which these changes were made also approved “Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy,” a programmatic document of more than 300 points that will serve as a platform for the transformation of the economic model in Cuba. Other articles do mention that “for years, Prieto has been asking to be relieved of the ministry so he could return to writing.”
UPI reports that the changes to the Political Bureau are not notable: “Among these 15, three new faces appear, only one female. Of the total number of members, seven are generals or commanders, more than 70 years old and belonging to the old revolutionary guard.” The three new members of the Political Bureau are Mercedes López Acea (45), Marino Murillo Jorge (51), and Abdel Izquierdo (50). UPI also states, “The Central Committee is integrated by 115 members, among which 48 are women (41.7%) and 36 are black or mestizo (31%). [. . .] The total number of men is 67 and those who are white are 79. In dealing with political positions, women, blacks and mulattos are still at a disadvantage.” [Let’s see, how many women, Blacks, and “others” does the U.S. Congress have? There are 363 men (83%) to 72 women (44%); 362 members are White (83%) and 42 are Black (9.5%); 24 are Hispanic (5.5%); 6 are Asian (1.3%); and 1 Native American (0.23%)]
Meanwhile, Abel Prieto, who served as culture minister since 1997 and previously as head of the Cuban National Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC), was busy representing Cuba at the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which supported by UNESCO, is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Here, Prieto visited the Museum of Miniature Books where he was presented with a recent edition of a miniature book dedicated to the upcoming birthday anniversary of Fidel Castro.
For original articles (in Spanish), see http://espanol.upi.com/Politica/2011/04/20/Cuba-Ministro-de-Cultura-Abel-Prieto-qued-excluido-de-la-cpula-comunista/UPI-88151303308847/ and http://www.desdelahabana.net/?p=6311
For full article (in English), see http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/04/19/2176048/cubas-culture-minister-prieto.html