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HAVANA, July 1 (Reuters) – Normal Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, a person of Cuba’s most strong males, died on Friday of a coronary heart attack, state media described, leaving a crucial hole in the political and financial leadership of the communist-operate island.
Lopez-Calleja, 62, was a essential member of Cuba’s political bureau, the ruling Communist Party’s maximum selection-making human body. He was as soon as married to former Cuban leader Raul Castro´s daughter Deborah.
A limited write-up in bash newspaper Granma lamented Lopez-Calleja’s passing and hailed his “brilliant record of expert services to the Homeland and the Cuban Revolution”.
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Lopez-Calleja kept a extremely low profile, seldom showing in pics or on tv, but his influence, particularly more than the overall economy, had increased markedly due to the fact 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 manage substantially of Cuba’s economic system, from luxurious motels for vacationers to the supermarkets that promote items to Cubans in international currencies.
The death of the general, who was also an advisor to Diaz-Canel, is not probably to cut down GAESA’s worth but is a setback for its management, in accordance to William LeoGrande, a professor of govt at American College in Washington.
“Lopez-Calleja played a central purpose in the results of the overseas-trade-earnings enterprises beneath the umbrella of the GAESA conglomerate,” LeoGrande mentioned.
“Whoever succeeds him, both equally at GAESA and in the political bureau, will quickly develop into one of Cuba’s most influential leaders, especially on financial policy,” LeoGrande claimed.
In 2020, then-U.S. President Donald Trump set Lopez-Calleja on a U.S. blacklist that prohibited U.S. individuals or providers from working with him.
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Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank Editing by Angus MacSwan and Daniel Wallis
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