Cuban Culture Minister Out After 15 Years

By Salon Staff

Published March 6, 2012 2:54PM (EST)

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban state media say the government has replaced the charismatic culture minister.

Abel Prieto is a well-known writer and intellectual who has been in the role since 1997. He has been named adviser to President Raul Castro, an indication he remains in favor.

Communist Party daily Granma said Tuesday that deputy minister Rafael Bernal has been promoted to replace him.

Prieto cuts an unmistakable figure, over 6 feet tall and with long, wavy hair. He is at ease with visiting cultural dignitaries and often chummed around with American stars like Wynton Marsalis, Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover.

Since 2010, the 61-year-old Prieto has appeared increasingly thin amid rumors of ill health. No reason for his departure was given.

Salon Staff

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