Marino Murillo

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Marino Murillo Jorge
Chairman of the Implementation Committee on Resolution of the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 March 2011
Prime Minister Raúl Castro
Preceded by Post established
Minister of Economy and Planning of the Republic of Cuba
In office
2 March 2009 – 25 March 2011
Prime Minister Raúl Castro
Deputy Abel Rodriguez
(as First Deputy Minister)
Perez Betancourt
(as Deputy Minister)
Preceded by José García
Succeeded by Abel Rodriguez
Minister of Internal Trade of the Republic of Cuba
In office
2006 – 2 March 2009
Prime Minister Raúl Castro
Fidel Castro
Deputy Jacinto Pardo
(as First Deputy Minister)
Preceded by Barbara Cuesta
Succeeded by Jacinto Pardo
Personal details
Born (1961-02-19) 19 February 1961 (age 53)
Unknown, Cuba
Political party Communist Party of Cuba
Alma mater National Defence College

Marino Alberto Murillo Jorge (19 February 1961) is a Cuban politician, economist and former military officer. He received national media attention in 2009 on his appointment as Minister of Planning and Economy following the government shake-up announced by Raúl Castro on 2 March 2009. Murillo retained this post until 25 March 2011 when he became Chairman of the Economic Policy Commission of the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

As Minister of Economy and Planning, his role is to spearhead economic reforms initiated by Raúl Castro. Murillo's intention is to rid the Cuban economy of its paternalistic features by updating the economic system. Murillo dislikes the idea of Cuba copying the economic reforms of Vietnam and the People's Republic of China, and is against creating market economy in Cuba, claiming that the newly established private markets will benefit socialism rather than capitalism.

Background[edit]

Little is known of Murillo's life before he became Minister of Economy and Planning in 2009.[1] He was born on 19 February 1961,[2] and has a degree in economics from the Cuban National Defence College, and is a member of the Communist Party of Cuba. His official government biography states that he has "been linked to the economic sphere for more than 20 years" as Minister of Internal Trade, Deputy Minister of Economy and Planning and as an auditor for the Ministry of Food & Industry.[1] He held the post of Minister of Internal Trade from 2006 until March 2, 2009 when he was succeeded by his First Deputy Minister Jacinto Angulo Pardo.[3]

Minister of Economy and Planning (2009–2011)[edit]

During Raúl Castro's 2009 Cuban government shake-up, Murillo replaced José Luis Rodríguez García as Minister of Economy and Planning and Vice President of the Council of Ministers.[4] Murillo then appointed Abel Rodriguez to the First Deputyship of the ministry and Perez Betancourt to the Deputyship of the ministry. Early on during his tenure, Murillo criticised the paternalistic features of the Cuban economy.[5] He also supported cutting the government's payroll by up 500,000 workers,[6] a motion enacted but not completed.[7]

When Murillo took office the Cuban economy had been hard hit by the worldwide financial crisis of 2008. At the 7th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba he stated that public debate was needed before implementing changes to the economic system, claiming "that false unanimity is pernicious and debate and healthy disagreement must be encouraged". Murillo also highlighted the importance of "order and discipline, institutionalism, clear establishment of the duties and powers of every post and, above all, of convincing people of the need to work in order to satisfy their aspirations." His report was approved by the plenum.[8] Murillo was elected a member of the Council of State in December 2009 to "improve the planning process of the national economy", according to Raúl Castro.[9] By the end of 2009, Cuba's 2008 2.3 billion trade deficit had become a surplus of 400 million dollars. Murillo accomplished this through a 37.6 percent reduction in imports. The economy only grew 1.4 percent in 2009, down from 4.2 percent in the previous year.[10] Initial planning had called for 6 percent, but as a result of the global financial crisis, earnings from important sectors such as tourism noticeably decreased. There was a 22.9 percent decrease in exports, and a 37.4 percent decrease in imports, highlighting Murillo's efforts to reduce government hard currency expenses.[11]

In a speech to the National Assembly of People's Power, the Cuban Parliament in August 2010, Murillo was asked if Cuba would pursue changes similar to those seen in Vietnam and the People's Republic of China. He replied; "I think the Cuban model is a very Cuban model. We cannot copy what many people in the world do", and further noted that the strongest country in the world, the United States, was their enemy.[12] He went on to say that with updating rather than reforming, the Cuban state economic system would remain highly centralised, although some businesses, such as barbers for instance, should not be directly controlled by the government.[12] On the updating of the economic system he stated that newly established private markets would prioritise the interest of socialism, and not those of capitalism.[13] At the December convocation of Cuba's parliament, Murillo took center stage to talk about the difficulties, inefficiencies and constraints of the Cuban economic model. He outlined proposed reforms and explained the inefficiencies of the economy,[14] stating that Cuba's updated economic model would function as a hybrid planned and market economy, but that the planned economy would remain dominant.[15]

Economic Policy Commission (2011–present)[edit]

On 25 March 2011 Murillo was replaced as Minister of Planning and Economy by Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez.[16] It is not clear whether this was a demotion; the official version being that Murillo was replaced so that he could concentrate his efforts on "supervising the implementation of measures associated with the updating of the Cuban economic model"[14] as Chairman of the Economic Policy Commission of the 6th Party Congress.[17] He does however retain overall control over the Ministry of Planning and Economy, as well as other "productive sectors". One foreign observer considered Murillo's position to be strengthened after his appointment as Chairman of the Economic Policy Commission, and referred to him as a "superminister" of economic reform.[18] As commission chairman Murillo is in charge of implementing Raúl Castro's economic reforms.[19]

At the Communist Party of Cuba's 6th Congress Murillo was elected to its Politburo.[20] Murillo is considered to be one of Raúl Castro's possible successors as Cuban leader.[21] According to an anonymous European diplomat in Havana, Murillo is the "one to watch".[20]

Offices held[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Chairman of the Economic Policy Commission
2011–present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
José Luis Rodríguez García
Vice President of the Council of Ministers
2009–present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
José Luis Rodríguez García
Minister of Economy and Planning
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Adel Yzquierdo Rodriguez
Preceded by
Barbara Castillo Cuesta
Minister of Internal Trade
2006–2009
Succeeded by
Jacinto Angulo Pardo

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Cuban economy minister leading public reform drive". Reuters. 23 December 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Miembros Del Consejo De Ministros" [Members of the Council of Ministers] (in Spanish). Government of Cuba. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Official Note from the Council of State" (in Spanish). Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Cambios anunciados por el gobierno cubano" [Changes announced by the Cuban government]. El Universal (in Spanish). 3 March 2009. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Exclusive – Cuban economy minister pushes for less state role". alibaba.com. 8 March 2010. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Tamayo, Juan O. (18 November 2010). "President Castro urges embrace of economic changes". alibaba.com. p. 2. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  7. ^ "Q&A: Cuba's economic changes". BBC Online. 15 March 2011. p. 2. Retrieved 10 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Confronting challenges serenely and with more determination than ever". Granma. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Corrected – Cuba says will ease state's role in economy". Reuters. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  10. ^ Frank, Marc (21 December 2009). "Creditors still fret despite Cuba improvements". Reuters. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Frank, Marc; Popper, Helen (20 December 2009). "Cuba says economy to grow 1.4 pct in 2009". Reuters. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Raúl Castro consolida a Murillo como el hombre fuerte de la economía cubana" [Raul Castro consolidates Murillo as the strongman of the Cuban economy] (in Spanish). Reuters. 1 August 2010. p. 2. 
  13. ^ AP (2 August 2010). "Cuba privatizará algunos empleos pero alega que no va a una economía de mercado" [Cuba privatise some jobs but argues that there is a market economy] (in Spanish). Elfaro.net. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Valdes, Rosa Tania (25 March 2011). "Cuba economy minister replaced, to focus on reform". Reuters. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Cuba names new economy minister, focuses on economic reforms". Xinhuanet. 26 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Cuba names new minister of economy and planning". Bloomberg Businessweek. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Cuba: Designan nuevo ministro de Economía" [Cuba: Picked the new economic minister]. El Nuevo Herald (in Spanish). 25 March 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Castro makes Murillo ’superminister’ of economic reform". Cubastandard.com. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  19. ^ Wilkinson, Tracy (20 April 2011). "Fidel Castro officially removed as head of Cuban Communist Party". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Carroll, Rory (19 April 2011). "Cuban communist party keeps old guard in power". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  21. ^ Haven, Paul (17 April 2011). "Fidel Castro gives brother key vote of confidence". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 17 April 2011.