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Apr 25, 2016 12:44 PM EDT

Celebrated Cuban Economist Sacked Over Unauthorized Information Sharing With US


Omar Everleny Pérez has been dismissed as an economist from the University of Havana for unauthorized sharing of information to the US. The dismissal comes after the historic visit of US President Barack Obama to Cuba last month.

The Guardian reports that Pérez has been fired from his position at the Center for Studies of the Cuban Economy at the University of Havana several weeks ago after Obama's visit. The dismissal by center director Humberto Blanco was prompted by Perez allegedly having a conversation with foreigners, including North Americans about the internal workings of the university.

Perez reportedly has been previously warned about unauthorized conversations with foreigners. In his dismissal letter, his actions were described as "negligent" and "irresponsible" and his continuing unauthorized activities led to his firing. Additionally, he was also accused of getting payments for a South Korean economy study. Although an appeal has been made, Perez claims that the dismissal was also partly due to what he wrote about Cuba's economic reforms and the government's pace on enacting it, Daily Business Review reports.

The outlet notes that Cubans, especially those with influence, who speak about Raul Castro and the government, somehow lose their jobs. Some of the noted personalities who lost their jobs in the last several years include political scientist Esteban Morales, sociologist Roberto Zurbano and director Juan Carlos Cremata. Morales was removed from the Communist party for criticizing corruption. Zurbano discussed racism in Cuba in an editorial piece that made it to the New York Times. Cremata was hindered from letting a play about a powerful king dying be in production in the country.

According to Miami Herald, the Cuban Congress voted to not push for reform. Castro will remain president of Cuba for five additional years.

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