The Associated Press March 25, 2011, 9:57PM ET

Cuba names new minister of economy and planning

President Raul Castro has named a new economy minister, and put the outgoing minister in charge of implementing economic reforms that will be hammered out at a Communist Party Congress.

An official statement read on Cuban television late Friday said Abel Izquierdo Rodriguez will replace Marino Murillo in the Economy and Planning post.

The statement said Murillo will retain his position as vice president of the Council of Ministers and will be in charge of supervising reforms to Cuba's economic model, which will be discussed in a party meeting in April.

Izquierdo had been vice minister of economy and planning.

Some of the reforms have already been laid out by Castro, including the issuing of more licenses for independent work and state job cuts.

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