HAVANA, (Reuters) – Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said yesterday that two prominent politicians dismissed from their jobs in a cabinet reshuffle had taken on an “unworthy role” that gave hope to the country’s enemies.
Castro, in a column published on the Internet, appeared to be referring to former Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and cabinet chief Carlos Lage, who were considered the top members of Cuba’s younger generation of leaders before they were removed on Monday.
Lage was replaced as cabinet chief by President Raul Castro, but was believed to have kept his job as a vice president of Cuba’s Council of State.
“The honey of power, for which they had made no sacrifice, awakened in them ambitions that drove them to an unworthy role,” Castro wrote, calling them only “the two mentioned by the wire services as the most affected.”
“The external enemy filled itself with expectations for them,” said Castro, who resigned as Cuban president last year due to poor health.
Both men had close ties to Fidel Castro, Lage as his long-time protege and Perez Roque as his former personal secretary.
Lage was considered by many to be an economic reformer, while Perez Roque recently had spoken hopefully about the possibilities of improving relations with the United States with new U.S. President Barack Obama now in office.
President Raul Castro, who took formally over from his elder brother Fidel Castro a year ago, named eight new ministers and cut out two ministries in the cabinet reshuffle, and said it was move to streamline his government.