José Ramón Machado Ventura (San Antonio de las Vueltas, Cuba, 26 de octubre de 1930) es un político cubano, histórico miembro del Partido Comunista Cubano, que ocupó el cargo de Vicepresidente Primero del Consejo de Estado de 2008 a 2013, al tiempo que se designaba a Raúl Castro como presidente, tras la renuncia de Fidel Castro a la reelección.
Juventud y actividad política
Doctor en Medicina por la Universidad de La Habana. Ejército Rebelde en la Sierra Maestra. Estuvo a las órdenes del Che Guevara y de Fidel Castro y, en 1958, junto a Raúl Castro, partió en la Columna que abandonó Sierra Maestra para establecer el "Segundo Frente Frank País", que ocupaba la parte este de la entonces provincia de Oriente. Es diputado desde 1976 en la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular de Cuba.
Durante la dictadura de Fulgencio Batista fue un miembro activo de la Federación Estudiantil Universitaria. Posteriormente, convertido en revolucionario se convirtió en un miembro destacado del Movimiento 26 de Julio y formó filas con el
Es miembro del Buró Político del Partido Comunista de Cuba desde su constitución y Segundo Secretario desde 2011. Es también miembro fundador del Consejo de Estado y vicepresidente desde 1986.
Ha ocupado, entre otros, el cargo de Ministro de Salud Pública (1960 - 1967).
Primer Vicepresidente de Cuba
El 24 de febrero de 2008 fue electo Primer Vicepresidente de la Républica de Cuba, aumentando su protagonismo político y mediático. En 2013, a los 82 años y a petición propia, fue liberado de su cargo, siendo elegido Vicepresidente del Consejo de Estado.
José Ramón Machado Ventura, M.D. (born 26 October 1930) was the First Vice-President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers in Cuba. With the election of Raúl Castro as President of Cuba on 24 February 2008, Machado was elected to succeed him as First Vice President.
José Ramón Machado was born in San Antonio de las Vueltas, in the former province of Las Villas, and was schooled in Camajuaní and Remedios. He is a medical doctor by profession, graduating from the University of Havana in 1953. Machado joined the revolutionary movement immediately following Fulgencio Batista's coup d'état of 10 March 1952, while still a medical student, and was an early member of the 26th of July Movement opposing the dictatorship. Later, under the command first of Ernesto "Che" Guevara and subsequently of Fidel Castro, he was one the original revolutionaries who fought the guerrilla war in the Sierra Maestra. In 1958, promoted to the rank of captain, he was sent to the province of Oriente under the command of Raúl Castro as part of the rebels' bid to open up a second front. There he was placed in charge of the guerrillas' medical service, establishing a network of hospitals and dispensaries, and was promoted to the rank of major "comandante" (top rank on Castro's rebel army).
Following the revolutionaries' victory on 1 January 1959, he was appointed the director of medical services in Havana and later served as the national Minister of Health from 1960 to 1967, during which time he was responsible for the development of the country's health sector. In January 1968, reportedly in the aftermath of a personal conflict with Fidel Castro over the running of the health sector, he was appointed to serve as the Politburo's delegate in the province of Matanzas. He remained in Matanzas until mid-1971; his administration of the province's economy and health sector was successful, particularly in terms of crop outputs, public transport and reduced infant mortality. Upon leaving Matanzas in 1971, he was appointed first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party in the province of Havana and was elected to the Politburo in December 1975.
He is a member of the National Assembly of People's Power, representing the municipality of Guantánamo. Since 2006, he has been responsible for overseeing Cuba's international education programs. José Ramón Machado has been described as "a hardline communist ideologue and old guard revolutionary." On 10 January 2007, he represented Cuba at the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.
Machado was elected by the National Assembly of People's Power as First Vice-President of the Council of State on 24 February 2008, at the same time as Raúl Castro's election as President; he received 601 out of 609 votes. Machado's election, at the age of 77, came as a surprise to some observers, who had been expecting someone younger to be chosen for the post.