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HAVANA, July 1 (Reuters) – Typical Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, one particular of Cuba’s most powerful adult males, died on Friday of a coronary heart assault, condition media claimed, leaving a important hole in the political and financial leadership of the communist-run island.
Lopez-Calleja, 62, was a important member of Cuba’s political bureau, the ruling Communist Party’s best conclusion-earning human body. He was when married to previous Cuban chief Raul Castro´s daughter Deborah.
A small post in bash newspaper Granma lamented Lopez-Calleja’s passing and hailed his “excellent file of services to the Homeland and the Cuban Revolution”.
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Lopez-Calleja kept a extremely small profile, rarely showing in pictures or on television, but his affect, specifically above the economic system, had greater markedly considering that President Miguel Diaz-Canel succeeded Castro in 2018.
A close confidant of Castro, Lopez-Calleja was also head of GAESA, a conglomerate of military services-owned organizations that deal with considerably of Cuba’s financial state, from luxurious inns for tourists to the supermarkets that sell goods to Cubans in foreign currencies.
The demise of the basic, who was also an advisor to Diaz-Canel, is not probably to decrease GAESA’s importance but is a setback for its leadership, in accordance to William LeoGrande, a professor of governing administration at American University in Washington.
“Lopez-Calleja played a central position in the achievement of the overseas-exchange-earnings firms less than the umbrella of the GAESA conglomerate,” LeoGrande mentioned.
“Whoever succeeds him, both equally at GAESA and in the political bureau, will quickly come to be one of Cuba’s most influential leaders, specifically on economic policy,” LeoGrande said.
In 2020, then-U.S. President Donald Trump put Lopez-Calleja on a U.S. blacklist that prohibited U.S. persons or businesses from dealing with him.
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Reporting by Dave Sherwood and Marc Frank Enhancing by Angus MacSwan and Daniel Wallis
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