Cuba removed its Central Bank president and immediately named a replacement

Cuba on Wednesday removed its Central Bank president and immediately named a replacement, without stating a reason for the shakeup. The island government named Joaquin Alonso Vazquez as the new president of the Central Bank to replace Martha Sabina Wilson, whose removal was announced on a state television broadcast.

“The Council of State at the request of the President of the Republic (Miguel Diaz-Canel), after approval of the politburo of the Central Committee of the (Communist) Party, agreed to promote comrade Joaquin Alonso Vazquez to the post of president of the Central Bank,” the newscast said.

Vazquez, 59, had served since 2017 as president of the Mercantile Society of Cuban Exchange Houses (CADECA), reports BSS.

The shakeup comes as the Central Bank faces a high-stakes legal battle over unpaid debt in a London courtroom. An investment fund, CRF1, originally called the Cuban Recovery Fund, has sued Cuba over some $72 million in principal and interest on two loans it now owns.

CRF1 says it acquired the loans from commercial banks in Europe that lent money while the late Fidel Castro was Cuba’s leader. Cuba says the loans are illegitimate and describes CRF1 as a “vulture fund.”

If the investment fund prevails in the London court, it could open the gates to other commercial creditors who say they are owed billions of dollars.

Cuba’s international reserves may be in a precarious position due to a plunge in tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on trade caused by a US embargo of the island.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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