Cuban general Lopez-Calleja dead of heart attack, state media says


Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel and former President Raul Castro wave national flags as countless numbers march to Revolution Square to mark Could Working day, in Havana, Cuba May perhaps 1, 2022. REUTERS/Claudia Daut/File Image

HAVANA, July 1 (Reuters) – Standard Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, one particular of Cuba’s most powerful adult men, died on Friday of a coronary heart assault, state media claimed, leaving a critical gap in the political and financial management of the communist-run island.

Lopez-Calleja, 62, was a essential member of Cuba’s political bureau, the ruling Communist Party’s optimum choice-making entire body. He was after married to previous Cuban chief Raul Castro´s daughter Deborah.

A quick post in celebration newspaper Granma lamented Lopez-Calleja’s passing and hailed his “fantastic file of companies to the Homeland and the Cuban Revolution”.

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Lopez-Calleja stored a extremely low profile, rarely showing up in photographs or on tv, but his impact, particularly above the overall economy, had greater markedly considering that President Miguel Diaz-Canel succeeded Castro in 2018.

A shut confidant of Castro, Lopez-Calleja was also head of GAESA, a conglomerate of army-owned corporations that take care of much of Cuba’s economic climate, from luxury inns for travelers to the supermarkets that promote products to Cubans in overseas currencies.

The demise of the basic, who was also an advisor to Diaz-Canel, is not most likely to reduce GAESA’s worth but is a setback for its leadership, according to William LeoGrande, a professor of federal government at American University in Washington.

“Lopez-Calleja played a central part in the achievement of the foreign-exchange-earnings enterprises underneath the umbrella of the GAESA conglomerate,” LeoGrande stated.

“Whoever succeeds him, the two at GAESA and in the political bureau, will promptly turn out to be one of Cuba’s most influential leaders, in particular on financial coverage,” LeoGrande reported.

In 2020, then-U.S. President Donald Trump place Lopez-Calleja on a U.S. blacklist that prohibited U.S. people today or organizations from dealing with him.

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Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank Editing by Angus MacSwan and Daniel Wallis

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