Castro Son-In-Law Promoted to General 7

Newly appointed Brigadier General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas

Newly appointed Brigadier General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas

Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas appears to remain a powerful figure despite reports that he has fought with the family.

By Juan O. Tamayo, JTamayo@elNuevoHerald.com

A powerful son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, in charge of the military enterprises that dominate the island’s economy, has been promoted to general despite recurring reports of tensions with his wife and brother-in-law.

Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, in his mid-50s and long identified as a colonel in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), was identified as a brigadier general in a Jan. 29 report in the Web pages of Cubadefensa, a FAR publication.

Rodriguez heads the Enterprise Administration Group (GAESA), the FAR’s business arm — the military controls 80 percent of the Cuban economy, including hotels, factories, restaurants and airlines — and sits on the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

He also is spearheading the $1 billion development project for the Port of Mariel west of Havana, Cuba’s strategic bet for reinserting itself into the global economy with the help of $800 million in financing from Brazil.

Military promotions in secretive Cuba are seldom announced, but Cubadefensa revealed his new rank in a brief report saying he attended a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the military-run Almacenes Universales S.A.

Rodriguez, married to Castro’s oldest daughter, Deborah Castro Espín, is widely viewed as one of the most powerful and ambitious men in Cuba — smart, arrogant, frugal and a highly effective administrator of GAESA.

His promotion to general supported speculation that he might succeed Castro eventually because he holds a high military rank, knows the economy, comes from a good family and married into an even more important one. His father, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Rodríguez del Pozo, was one of the Fidel Castro guerrillas who seized power in 1959.

“This means that he remains in contention, despite what people have been saying about his troubles,” said Luis Dominguez, a Miami exile who first reported Rodriguez’s promotion in his blog, Cuba al Descubierto — Cuba Uncovered.

Retired CIA analyst Brian Latell, who authored two books on Cuba, said the new rank is commensurate with the general’s responsibilities at the very profitable GAESA. “I would say he earned his star fair and square,” he said.

But Rodriguez also has been reported to have clashed often with Deborah and her brother, Alejandro Castro Espín, 48, an Interior Ministry colonel who is Castro’s chief intelligence advisor and runs a tough anti-corruption campaign.

Read more here: Castro Son-In-Law Promoted to General

Castro Son-In-Law Promoted to General

7 comments

  1. Once again, the Heraldologos protect the Castroites in the USA by omitting the link between Arturo Lopez-Callejas, aka Arturo Lopez-Levy, and this general. Chris, you need to write another letter to the editor of the Miami Herald.

  2. Moreover, the Heraldologos have demonstrated that they know nothing on the issues they use to dealt with. They were spreading the gossips on Luis Alberto in disgrace (the main source was the Almeida´s son working in Radio and TV Martí) and the coming promotion of Col. Alejandro Castro. The facts are quite the contrary.

  3. It is disgusting that Castro’s regime thugs that repressed Cubans in the island and are accomplices of the murders committed by the Castro regime are coming to the US to enjoy in some cases the same benefits Americans are enjoying,it is lamentable.

  4. Pingback: The Laughable Duplicity of “Former” Cuban Spy Arturo Lopez-Levy « Cuba Confidential

  5. Pingback: The Laughable Duplicity of “Former” Cuban Spy Arturo Lopez-Levy | Cuba al Descubierto

  6. Pingback: FACE | The Laughable Duplicity of “Former” Cuban Spy Arturo Lopez-Levy

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