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

ByLois C

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

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HAVANA, July 1 (Reuters) – Common Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Calleja, a single of Cuba’s most effective men, died on Friday of a heart attack, point out media described, leaving a significant hole in the political and economic management of the communist-operate island.

Lopez-Calleja, 62, was a crucial member of Cuba’s political bureau, the ruling Communist Party’s best decision-generating overall body. He was once married to former Cuban chief Raul Castro´s daughter Deborah.

A small report in occasion newspaper Granma lamented Lopez-Calleja’s passing and hailed his “good history of services to the Homeland and the Cuban Revolution”.

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Lopez-Calleja stored a extremely very low profile, almost never showing in photos or on television, but his impact, primarily above the overall economy, experienced enhanced markedly considering the fact that President Miguel Diaz-Canel succeeded Castro in 2018.

A shut confidant of Castro, Lopez-Calleja was also head of GAESA, a conglomerate of military-owned businesses that deal with considerably of Cuba’s financial state, from luxurious lodges for travellers to the supermarkets that provide products to Cubans in overseas currencies.

The loss of life of the common, who was also an advisor to Diaz-Canel, is not possible to cut down GAESA’s significance but is a setback for its management, according to William LeoGrande, a professor of governing administration at American College in Washington.

“Lopez-Calleja played a central role in the achievements of the overseas-exchange-earnings organizations less than the umbrella of the GAESA conglomerate,” LeoGrande stated.

“Whoever succeeds him, each at GAESA and in the political bureau, will promptly turn into just one of Cuba’s most influential leaders, specially on financial coverage,” LeoGrande reported.

In 2020, then-U.S. President Donald Trump set Lopez-Calleja on a U.S. blacklist that prohibited U.S. persons or businesses 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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By Lois C