LatinNews Daily - 18 October 2022

In brief: Energy minister replaced in Cuba

*Cuba’s state mouthpiece Granma has reported that Energy Minister Nicolás Liván Arronte Cruz has been replaced with Vicente de la O Levy, current president of the state-run electronics company Grupo Empresarial de la Electrónica. De la O Levy formerly served as director of the Cuba’s state electricity company Unión Eléctrica (UNE) among other roles. No reasons were provided for the decision to replace Arronte, who had been in the post since 2019, although Granma reported that he would be “assigned new responsibilities”. UNE general director Jorge Armando Cepero Hernández has also been replaced with Alfredo López Valdés, an electrical engineer, who previously served director of Empresa Eléctrica de La Habana, a state utilities firm which provides electricity services in Havana province. He has also held various ministerial posts including energy & mining (2012-2018), and industry (2018-2019). The changes come as Cuba continues to face a major energy crisis, amid ongoing blackouts. This is due part to the poor condition of the island’s power plants but has since been exacerbated by the impact of Hurricane Ian which made landfall last month, bringing about the collapse of Cuba’s entire electrical grid, leaving the entire population of some 11.4m inhabitants without electricity.

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