Cuba’s Communist Party Congress…at Last

Daisy Valera

Logo of the Communist Party of Cuba

A couple months ago I wrote in this blog about the continued postponement of the anxiously awaited and needed 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Nonetheless, it seems that finally —after 13 years— the most important event of the sole party that exists on the island.

This past November 1st a document appeared on the country’s newsstands titled “Draft Guidelines for Economic and Social Policy.”

That title was in large white letters, while what specifically concerned the congress was in small blue letters on an also blue bottom of the page.

This announced, “The 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba – Amazing!”

Well yes, the congress is being organized for this coming April, and it will be held on the basis of those economic and social guidelines.

But after reading the guidelines, I can’t say I was satisfied – not at all.

The Cuban revolutionary process is of considerable importance, not only for those of us who are living through it, but also for the peoples of Latin America who see the Cuban experience as a path to follow.

Because of this, I believe that the Congress should go into great depth into issues that are absent from the pages of the Guidelines.

The congress of a communist party cannot be limited to addressing the fact that ration books will be gradually phased out, or that private ownership will increase, or that private businesses will be able to hire  wage laborers.

Although these issues are thorny for a country seeking to build socialism, there are others that —if ignored— no analysis will make any sense.

This is why it is important to raise the current situation of the world economy as a point of discussion, as well as to point to the possible harm posed by a greater opening to the world market.

Likewise, in the body of the guidelines there is no emphasis on the leading roles that Cuban workers should have in the process of change, though there is indeed discussion on the strengthening of institutionalization and changes in the government.

For the time being all that is left to do is wait and to zealously fight for each subsequent meeting of the Congress; because if there is something clear, it’s that this is the body that will bring deep changes to Cuban society.

Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.



5 thoughts on “Cuba’s Communist Party Congress…at Last

  • Contrary to the historic thinking of all stalinist types everywhere, the “Communist Party” itself per se, is not, in fact, of equal logical identity with ‘The Revolution’ itself (i.e. ‘The Party’ substituting itself for the Proletariat); and it is in fact, *only* The Revolution itself which is ‘sacrosanct’ and inviolable — not any particular Party which claims to lead it (in the name of the masses or whoever else). So — there being REAL class differences remaining in ‘socialist’ society — it is the concrete logic of the matter that these class differences _must_ be ‘mediated’ in the political and economic sphere by *different* and even *multiple* parties… It is the only natural way, actually. And there is no democratic way around this messy, historically-evolved fact, either — the only proviso being that the “dictatorship of the proletariat” over The Revolution (in Cuba being a serious problem, due to the historic lack of a well-developed proletariat on the island) _must_ be maintained by limiting the free political expression of party-based class interests *to only those formations which support The Revolution* — there being no other way to keep imperialist interests from subverting the democratic expression of the mass of laboring society on the island and elsewhere.

    That being said: the present process being alluded-to above does not give many people much hope, at this point, that the PCC understands this critical issue in the least. Or at the least, has any intentions of ‘rectifying’ it — in the democratic socialist direction.

    Reply
  • The elephant in the room that nobody is mentioning is a theoretical clarification of socialism, itself.

    Everyone agrees that socialism is supposed to be the bridge for society from capitalism to a society without private property. But the state monopoly concept of socialism–that entered the movement in 1848–brought the idea of abolishing private property to the beginning of the bridge-building project at the first acquisition of state power by a revolutionary party.

    This amounted to foisting the same commune-building mentality of the Utopians onto the 20th century revolutions. It destroyed every one.

    The elephant in the room is the choice of the coming Congress of whether Cuban socialism is to remain the discredited state monopoly principle, advance to workable state-cooperative co-ownership socialism, or follow the Chinese back to capitalism with a red communist bow.

    Reply
  • Let us hope that the 6th Party Congress will result in the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius!
    Besides some of the state farms being converted into cooperatives, perhaps some could be converted into –Fourierian Phalanteseries!

    Reply

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