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Cuba names prime minister in attempt to decentralize presidential power

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel appointed Manuel Marrero Cruz to be the country's first prime minister in four decades in an effort to decentralize presidential power in line with constitutional amendments, Reuters reported.

The National Assembly on Dec. 21 ratified the appointment of Marrero, who was the country's tourism minister for the past 15 years and had presided over the country's tourism boom.

The Caribbean island nation approved a new constitution earlier this year that restored the role of prime minister after former Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro abolished the title in 1976.

However, the prime minister's duties will differ from those in many countries, as Marrero's focus will be less political and more managerial. He will be the president's right-hand man in administrative matters, taking charge of the day-to-day supervision of the cabinet, known as the Council of Ministers, and having a hand in policy implementation.

Cuba's new constitution also introduced reforms that recognize private property ownership and promote foreign investment.