After 40 years Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has appointed the country’s first prime minister – the tourism minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz.
The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
It was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for the communist-run island passed earlier this year.
56 Years old Marrero Cruz, 56, is expected to take on some of the responsibilities that currently fall to the president. Mr Marrero’s appointment was ratified unanimously by deputies in the National Assembly on Saturday. Even the state newspaper Granma described Mr Marrero as a politician who had emerged “from the base” of the tourism industry, one of Cuba’s main sources of foreign exchange.
However, critics say any such changes are purely cosmetic as the Cuban Communist Party and the military remain the only two real decision-making institutions on the island.
It is unclear if he will now remain head of the ministry.
Naming him prime minister, Mr Díaz-Canel praised Mr Marrero in particular for his handling of relationships with foreign investors.
He highlighted his “honesty, ability to work, and loyalty to the Communist Party and the revolution”.