Cuba Party Conference Ends As Expected

Dariela Aquique

Foto: Caridad

HAVANA TIMES, Feb 1 — We Cubans were hopeful, though skeptical. It was believed that because of the wave of “change” taking place in the country, the First National Conference of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) was going to come up with real proposals aimed at reshaping political and social life on our island.

According to the leadership, “extensive discussions from the base traced the objectives and tasks for implementing the resolutions of the Sixth Congress, especially looking at the ‘Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy’.”

The conclusions from the conference were the responsibility of the first secretary of the Central Committee of the PCC and president of the country: Raul Castro.

It was disappointing to me, and I think for many other people – even those who were there raising their hands in approval and thus completing the picturesque image of unanimity to which our eyes are accustomed.

We listened to Raul’s speech, emerging from rhetoric with the tone of “What do you expect?” or “You guys can forget anything different!

He accentuated the irrevocable nature of the socialist model as the only practical option for our nation, recalling that it was the vast majority of the people who approved the referendum for that concept to remain embedded in our constitution (an event that deserves a separate commentary).

Moreover, he affirmed that the multiparty system is part of demagogic representative democracy, where only a few people make the decisions about the destinies of the many (forcing me to wonder what’s the difference with what we currently have, or are we still going to keep arguing for our curious electoral system).

In his remarks, the president placed a strong emphasis on the mercenary media campaign of the so-called “free press,” which acts in the service of the enemies of the revolution, as well as its intention to present a distorted image of our nation.

I wondered to myself, “What’s coming after this? What new methods are they going to use to combat the alternative press?”

Why is it necessary for us to have courage to express our thoughts openly and always in first person, even when we know that ours are the unwitting thoughts of many people? Why if we don’t harangue against anybody or anything? What’s the big deal if all we ask for are logical changes in which the citizen’s right to freedom of expression prevails? Why then are we branded mercenary good-for-nothings?

I know fully well that certain groups are directly financed from Miami, and that these operations sometimes promote news that doesn’t do justice to the truth and often borders on defamation.

But that shouldn’t mean tossing the free press into the same bag. That term “enemy” is always used for anyone who disagrees partially or fully with what is imposed by the government. Such people are attacked in a manner that is offensive, disrespectful, humiliating and always filled with animosity.

This is exceedingly evident with the pro-government commentators on articles in HT who never express their disagreement with respect to any matter or give a justification for their positions. Instead, they pronounce only imperatives, distant examples that are always far-fetched and overflowing with offensive phrases.

The unsurpassed dogmatism suffered by these “communist” fundamentalists eliminates any possibility of dialogue. People are denied the right of reply before one single party, one single opinion.

There was, however, a new proposal for term limits: two consecutive five-year terms. Still, it’s already known who will be elected and reelected as this period of time is more or less the time they have left to live or remain lucid.

As my grandmother would say, it was to be expected.



Dariela Aquique

Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.

Dariela Aquique has 233 posts and counting. See all posts by Dariela Aquique

6 thoughts on “Cuba Party Conference Ends As Expected

  • Luis, I am sorry but I fail to see this other world without capitalism in Cuba. What they have in Cuba is State monopoly capitalism. The worst kind of capitalism. Workers can not negotiate their salaries. Unions are totally controlled by the employer (the regime). Workers can not protect themselves. Example. Recently Raul announce they were firing about 1 million workers of the 5 million that work in Cuba and this was happening with the blessing of the Union!!!
    So that Union is not really representing the interest of the working class. Neither is the Marxist regime representing the interest of the working class.

    They have stores where they pay twice the price we pay here in the US for merchandise of lower quality.
    I think that you gain little by defending such system. Cuba is an example of why another world as you said can not really exist. All we have is capitalism. Capitalism without freedom can be very horrible. We only have to look into China. Where the communist, those that are suppose to defend the workers turn a blind eye.
    Only free capitalism seems to be as the right system. Yes they are still poor but a great majority belongs to the middle class and can live fairly good lives.

  • Cuba is still a matter of controversy amongst the left. Some of us support the Revolution, some of us don’t. For the former, Cuba crystalises the right of self-determination in the very last front of the Cold War: it’s a stone in the shoe of the Monroe Doctrine.

    While nearly all countries in Latin America were suffering though US-backed puppet authoritarian regimes, Cuba was there, confronting the US hegemony in Latin America. Virtually all countries that took a step to the left were object of military coups backed by the US. Although not complete, here is a list of CIA-backed atrocities:

    I agree that many things must change in Cuba – it needs advances in rights such as the freedom of speech and movement, but its achievements in rights such as the right to healthcare and education are still examples to be followed.

    Overall, Cuba not only represents the idea that ‘another world is possible’, defying globalized capitalism, but it is also the ‘David’ against the ‘Goliath’ up north.

  • You know I can really understand the left when they defend the rights of workers, when they defend the right to be paid more and to make a decent living when they defend their right to better benefits.

    But the left I can not understand is the one that supports a totalitarian regime. That exploits their workers. That treats them as slaves and all in the name of Marxism.

    Can someone please explain that to me this?
    Are some leftist individual so blind by their dogma that they can not make a distinction?

  • its disgracefull and pathetic that so many so called leftists here in the states lecture cubans about how lucky they should feel living in cuba. with the exception of grady, it seems that almost every person that comments on this site lacks all integrity and ability for independant thought. the only thing they offer is excuses for authoritarianism.
    in cuba, when the ladies in white or any other group decides to hold a small protest, hundreds of angry, frothing at the mouth die hards show up and hold repudiation rallies, which have turned violent. the commentors here on this site, if they were cuban, would be among those who show up and scream and spit and brand everyone who thinks differently a traitor and ‘counter-revolutionary’ worm. for shame. this is why the left in general is no longer relevant.

  • I think any Cuban who takes the same positions as those Cubans who are financed by U.S interests to work against democracy and socialism, is going to be treated as a traitor.

    As long as the United States is dedicated to forcing the end of Cuba’s socialism and electoral system, those who take up the U.S side can and will be accused of treason.

    That said, there should be an ongoing, persistent and widespread movement toward making Poder Popular work in the way it was intended. In theory it far surpasses the multi-party nonsense that passes for “democracy” in countries where capitalism rules and as such cannot be democratic. Over the years since Poder Popular went into effect there has been a large scale bureaucratic ossification due in large part to the the U.S war on the revolution.

    No nation in an existential struggle can let down its guard and so Cubans can either bear up under the hardships which are deliberately aimed at the common people or surrender all they’ve gained since the Revolution.

    Cubans have stood up to the world’s bully for 50 years.
    The blockade will last maybe another ten at most and within that time Cuba’s vast oil wealth will come into play and dramatically change the Cuban economy and its ability to overcome the effects of the blockade.

    It’s now a matter of a few years before a big improvement becomes apparent.

    In the meantime Cubans will hopefully work out the problems of the corrupted Poder Popular system and get the truly fully participatory, bottom up democracy that Poder Popular should be.

    I guess the big question is whether Cubans want to be like other developing countries that are so much worse off under both a totalitarian government and a totalitarian economy.

    It is no small thing that no Cubans starve, go without healthcare (including dental and mental ) go homeless or have to worry about what happens to their children should they die or were unable to work.

    A big mistake many people in the United States make is to make the unfair comparison between conditions in Cuba and in the United States rather than compare conditions in Cuba and another developing country of similar economic resources.

    I sincerely hope most Cubans are not making that mistake.

  • I’m sorry Dariela, but I would include myself amongst the “pro-government commentators” here in HT and would like for you to point out at least one commentary of mine that is “imperative” or filled with “distant examples that are always far-fetched and overflowing with offensive phrases”.

    Yours truly.

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