Cuba names Manuel Marrero Cruz prime minister

HAVANA, Dec. 23th (CNN) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Saturday named Manuel Marrero Cruz as the country’s prime minister, a nonexistent role within Cuban politics for more than four decades.

Marrero served as Cuba’s tourism minister for almost 16 years and was named prime minister for a five-year term, according to Cuba’s state news agency, ACN.
US scraps flights to nine Cuban destinations, adding to list of punishing sanctions. He was a colonel in Cuba’s armed forces before being tasked with heading the state tourism industry, which provided badly needed hard currency for the communist-run island.

Fidel Castro was the country’s last prime minister. He held the post from 1959 to December 1976, when he took the title of president of the State Council, a title that replaced the posts of president and prime minister.

Marrero’s appointment was unanimously ratified by the 594 deputies of Cuba’s National Assembly during the Assembly’s annual end-of-the-year meeting. Parliament’s absolute majority is necessary for the appointment, ACN said. Deputy prime ministers and other members of the Council of Ministers were appointed during Saturday’s session.
Diaz-Canel remains head of state and Raul Castro remains the first secretary of the Communist Party, where the real power lies.