Cuba: Minister of Energy and Director of Electricity Union Dismissed

dismissal of Cuba's energy minister

Cuba’s Council of State resolved to dismiss the current Minister of Energy and Mines, Livan Arronte Cruz, as well as the director of the Cuban Electrical Union, Jorge Armando Cepero, according to the official press on Monday, October 17. This decision was taken at the request of President Miguel Daz-Canel, according to the press release.

Cuba is experiencing a crisis where power outages are frequent. In recent weeks, people have taken to the streets to protest against the prolonged blackouts.

The removal of these two government officials is intended to show that there is political will to carry out transformations in the electric power sector.

According to an official note broadcast Monday by Cuban television’s Noticiero del Mediodía, the Council of State promoted comrade Vicente de la O Levy, current president of the Electronics Business Group, to the post of Minister of Energy and Mines.

“Comrade Vicente de la O Levy is 60 years old, is a mechanical engineer and has held various responsibilities such as project specialist, head of maintenance and company director, until he became first deputy minister of the Iron and Steel Industry,” the official note said.

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Between 2005 and 2010 De la O Levy served as general director of Unión de Eléctrica (UNE) and was later appointed head of the Energy Mission in Venezuela. Since 2013 he had served as president of Grupo Empresarial de la Electrónica.

According to the official communiqué, Liván Arronte Cruz (Minister of Energy and Mines since 2019) “will move on to other responsibilities”, a euphemism usually used from Cuban official spheres to say that a high position has been removed and will be demoted.

In the same press release, it was also announced that the current director of Unión Eléctrica (UNE), Jorge Armando Cepero Hernández, was also removed from his position, which will now be occupied by Alfredo López Valdés.

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López Valdés is an electrical engineer and has accumulated vast experience in the sector in which he has worked from the grassroots.

Valdés was director of the Havana electric company and of the Electric Industry Construction and Power Plant Maintenance companies.

He was Minister of Fishing, Energy and Mines and Industry. He was also a university professor.

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