On Monday, Cuba's President Raul Castro unexpectedly showed the exit door to some of its most powerful officials.
This marks the biggest change in government since he took power from his brother, Fidel Castro, a year ago.
The changes replaced some key Fidel loyalists, including the longtime foreign minister, with men closer to Raul. They also reduced the enormous powers of a vice president credited with saving Cuba's economy after the fall of the Soviet Union.
According to analysts the move does not indicate Cuba's move to form U.S.-Cuban ties as both countries are now under new leadership, Reuters reported.
Several ministries were consolidated in response to President Raul Castro's calls for a more compact and functional structure for the often unwieldy communist bureaucracy that oversees nearly all public activity on the island, Reuters reported.
This has been the most sweeping leadership shakeup in years was dropped on Cubans at the end of the midday news, following the weather and sports.
The most prominent of those ousted, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, was the youngest of Cuba's top leaders and had been widely mentioned as a possible future president.
Perez Roque, 43, had been Fidel Castro's personal secretary before becoming foreign minister almost a decade ago, and he delighted in blustery, Fidel-like denunciations of U.S. policy.
He was someone who was very close to Fidel Castro and built his career working directly for Fidel Castro, said Phil Peters, a Cuba specialist at the Lexington Institute near Washington, Reuters reported,
Bruno Rodriguez, Roque's previous deputy, replaced him.
Roque once once served as Cuba's ambassador to the United Nations. There is no announcement yet of a post for Roque.
According to Peters, it was too early to say whether the changes could affect relations with the new administration of President Barack Obama.
There is nothing that indicates it's a reaction to anything in the United States, Peters said, noting that Raul Castro has long spoken of streamlining Cuba's government, Reuters reported.
Vicki Huddleston, America's top diplomat in Cuba from 1999-2001, said the changes raise questions about how much influence Fidel Castro retains, Reuters reported.
Fidel, 82, remains the head of the Communist Party and often writes newspaper articles on foreign affairs.