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Cuban economy minister removed to now oversee reforms

By Shasta Darlington, CNN
  • Economy Minister Marino Murillo Jorge is replaced by his top deputy
  • Murillo will oversee massive economic reforms to Cuba's Soviet-style model
  • More than one million state jobs are going to be eliminated during the reform

Havana, Cuba (CNN) -- Cuba replaced Economy Minister Marino Murillo Jorge so that he can focus on overseeing the sweeping economic reforms expected to be approved at a meeting of the Communist Party in April, state media reported on Saturday.

Murillo will be replaced by his top deputy Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez, but will retain his post as coordinator of the Economic Policy Commission for the upcoming party congress, according to the state-run website Cubadebate. Murillo will also retain his position as one of the vice presidents of the government, the website said.

Murillo has been put in charge of "supervising the implementation of measures associated with the updating of the Cuban economic model," according to the government-run media outlet.

President Raul Castro has introduced the biggest shakeup to the Soviet-style economy in decades. He has called for more than one million state jobs to be eliminated and an expansion of the private sector.

The proposals will be discussed at the Communist Party Congress, the first to be held in almost 14 years, on April 16-19.