Cuba’s Ongoing 7th Party Congress

Elio Delgado Legon

pcc congreso bohemia.cuHAVANA TIMES — The plenary session and commission meetings of the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) was held in Havana from April 16 to 19, but the closing ceremony on the 19th did not put an end to the Congress. The work of the representatives will continue in the months to come.

Many in Cuba and abroad consider this a historical congress, first of all because it is the last to be presided by the historical leaders of the revolution and, second, because it has laid the foundations for the conceptualization of the economic model to follow and the development of the economy until 2030.

The two aims could not be met in the brief time the Congress lasted. They require the involvement of all Party members and the analysis and opinions of workers and the whole of society, through grassroots organizations.

The main report, read by First Secretary Raul Castro, diagnoses Cuba’s social reality and demonstrates the Party’s capacity to interpret the sentiments of the masses, tracing economic, scientific and social development aims for the country.

One of the paragraphs of the report explains that “we have planned to have both documents, the conceptualization and the bases for the National Development Plan, that is, be subjected to democratic debate following their analysis during the Congress, by members of the Party and the Young Communists League, representatives of grassroots organizations and broad sectors of society, so that these may be enriched and perfected.”

The participation of society in the preparation of the final drafts will have a positive impact on the close relationship that ought to exist between the Party and the masses.

The central report will have to be thoroughly reviewed by all Party members and by all workers and society in general, for it constitutes the guide for all future work to be undertaken by revolutionaries.

Counterrevolutionaries at home and abroad have vociferated that the report does not say what many expected it to. Were they expecting Cuba to adopt a multi-party system or for it to return to the neoliberal capitalism that was eradicated many years ago?

They should bear in mind that Cuban revolutionaries have never given up and, if, once in our history, because of a lack of unity and understanding, the Zanjon Pact was signed with the Spanish Crown to bring about peace without independence, the Baragua Protest saved the honor of Cubans. Those who support the Zanjon Pact today should not deceive themselves, as Cuban revolutionaries today, who know their history, will make Cuba an eternal Baragua.

Faced with the reality of the world today and the onslaught of Latin America’s right against progressive and left-wing parties (with guidance and aid from abroad), the Cuban revolution isn’t going to fall into the trap. Those who followed the siren songs of neoliberalism in Argentina are today regretting the country’s retreat to the times of Carlos Menem, when the country was neck-deep in neoliberal muck and was only able to pull itself out of this pit thanks to the progressive governments of Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez.

In other countries, such as Honduras, Paraguay and, more recently, Brazil, parliamentary coups or economic warfare (as exemplified by Venezuela) are being used to set up new forms of neoliberalism.

We will never again return to the days of politicking and the shame of seeing unscrupulous politicians descend like vultures on the spoils of the homeland, mired in chaos and misery. What the revolution has achieved to date, which is far from insignificant, will continue to consolidate itself and grow until we have reached a prosperous and sustainable form of socialism, as was reaffirmed at the recently-concluded 7th Congress, which shall go on for as long as is needed.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

21 thoughts on “Cuba’s Ongoing 7th Party Congress

  • April 27, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    This dude is dreaming! “What the revolution has achieved to date, which is far from insignificant, will continue to consolidate itself and grow until we have reached a prosperous and sustainable form of socialism” Does he live in Cuba? It’s literally crumbling. Amid rampant shortages and ever-increasing outmigration, the only hope for the future is the arrival of American tourists and their capitalist habits. Elio is certifiable.

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    • April 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm
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      Never mind dreaming, the dude is smoking something other than a Cohiba

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    • April 29, 2016 at 10:14 am
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      I’d say you’re the one that has problems dealing with reality in not acknowledging what every U.S. administration since Eisenhower knows and that is the embargo has been and is effective in impoverishing the people of Cuba and permanently bringing the Cuban economy down .
      It’s a denial you must make to hold to the historically inaccurate opinions you must maintain.
      It’s literally willful ignorance on your part because you know the truth.
      It’s the way of the dumbed-down right.

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      • April 29, 2016 at 11:38 am
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        You are entitled to your opinion. By the way, CUBANS don’t agree with you.

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        • April 30, 2016 at 9:58 am
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          And that is strictly YOUR opinion since you did not supply a source .
          The U.S. embargo’s purpose was clearly laid out back when it was instituted .
          For you to say that the nature and effects of the embargo are strictly my opinion flies in the face of the reality of what U.S. foreign policy was and still is today:
          A policy ( the embargo) that has been deemed effective by at least 11 U.S. administrations .
          But you think you know more than did all the U.S. foreign policy experts who kept the embargo on which should be telling you one more factual thing you need ignore to maintain the unbelievable.
          It is highly unlikely that you have the knowledge and the expertise to be correct and all of them wrong.
          That it is necessary for you to deny facts does not make those facts any less true but only serves to display what is willful ignorance on your part of facts and history that are inconvenient to your sociopathic belief set supporting free enterprise capitalism and U.S. imperial aggression .
          Moral Introspection is a it too difficult for you, in my opinion.

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          • May 1, 2016 at 7:53 pm
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            Lacking the facts to support your position does not mean that personal attacks are a viable Palm B. Of course this is my opinion! That’s sort of why blogs exist. NOT repealing the US embargo does not mean that lawmakers believed in its effectiveness. On the contrary, until the fall of the Soviet Union, the US embargo had very little effect on the Cuban realty. The continued support for the embargo is based on the belief that repealing it would help the Castros. It’s relative effectiveness is seldom discussed by anti-CASTRO activists. The only people who care about whether the embargo has caused suffering or not are people who ‘think’ like you.

          • May 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm
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            Declaration of source would result in arrest of the Cubans concerned for criticizing the regime which is in itself an offence. Your problem Mr. Goodrich is that you are in ignorance of the reality of Cuba. The CDR has a representative on every block of every city, town and village in Cuba. An annual report is made to MININT about every individual, who they are meeting and what their views are. This is modelled on the East German Stasi who actually trained senior Cuban officials. To you think that I sbould declare to you on the Internet, who my sources are and endanger the little freedom they have? Get real Mr. Goodrich and please don’t respond by quoting Noam Chomsky! The display of ignorance about Cuba lies entirely within your responses, not in what Moses correctly writes.

    • April 29, 2016 at 4:39 am
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      The accusations that he was sharing information with foreigners is likely a pretext for the REAL reason which we will probably never know.

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  • April 27, 2016 at 7:08 pm
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    Only a little capitalism will save socialism. Maybe a lot more.

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    • April 29, 2016 at 9:28 am
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      Cuba already has STATE capitalism with government officials taking the place of the private owners who run things in free enterprise capitalism : who decide how the work will be done, how the profits will be used and how much people will be paid for work.

      The big difference between the two is that under Cuban/Soviet-style state capitalism basic human rights such as sufficient food, shelter, education and health care and are provided by the state . under free-enterprise capitalism those basic human rights are considered a privilege and not a right .
      The solutions to Cuba’s problems are first, an end to the U.S. embargo and second, the democratization of the society by eliminating all forms of capitalism because they are totalitarian forms

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      • April 30, 2016 at 8:32 am
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        The Cuba model does not work for the people. Capitalism has risen living standards all over the world. That is reason that country after country moves towards freer market systems. Using the gains of market systems to fund public goods like defense, medical care and education works. Having the government grow and distribute an equal share of potatoes does not work. State control economies failed, just look a China and Vietnam success with market reforms. Look at basket case of Venezuela.

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      • May 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm
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        Still rattling the same old rusty sabre Mr. Goodrich. Time for you to waken up and enter the real world, you just don’t have a clue about Cuba and only the ignorant could find merit in your contributions. Why is it that whereas you think that a political system that denies people the right to openly express their views and opinions with the constant threat of the CDR making report to General Alejandro Castro Espin’s department within MININT is beneficial but not appropriate for yourself? Your ignorance may stimulate your own mind, but is pathetically inadequate for discussion about Cuba. Frankly Mr. Goodrich it is high time for you to say something fresh rather than mimicking the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of Cuba. Remember what Dr. Ernesto Guevara de Serna Lynch said:
        “Learn to think as part of the mass, to think as an individual is criminal.”

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  • April 28, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    Not certifiable – just old and senile.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 9:20 am
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    This report was a bit too supportive of the top-down mechanisms of both the Cuban government and its economy and too short on any details of any plans for my liking.
    Raul et al have made few, if any moves toward democratization of the Communist Party-dominated systems which any system calling itself communist MUST do if it is a principled revolution.
    I agree that multi-party systems are a sham in any free-enterprise capitalist country and as in the USA, are not only not a guarantor of political choice but systems that prevent it.
    Poder Popular has no need of multiple parties because elected officials under it are elected based on their personal qualifications by the electorate .
    Would Trump or Clinton ever get nominated by the US electorate without their parties behind them ?
    I doubt it.
    I’ll have to see what the outcomes are when the Congress has finished its work before really being able to comment further . but I don’t like it so far. ..

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    • May 1, 2016 at 10:48 pm
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      There have been principled revolutions, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, Poland in 1989. To equate the Castro family regime with similar principles is a bad joke. The Cuban revolution was not declared to be communist until months later. Camilo Cienfuegos, Huber Matos and dozens of others who served in the Sierra Maestra, were not communists. Indeed Matos resigned because of his opposition to the introduction of communism and got jailed with 38 others by Fidel Castro for twenty years – all of which he served. It is unfair to apply the words ‘principled revolution’ to the Cuban one, as the intent was not declared.

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  • April 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm
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    Just got word – local peso 18 buys – $ 1 CUC – Correct ?

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    • May 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm
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      No, not correct. Selling 1 CUC provides 24 pesos. Buying takes 25 pesos to purchase 1 CUC. It is interesting to recall that three years ago, the Castro family regime announced that it was going to revert to having one currency. The only move towards that has been that the GAESA subsidiary stores TRD, Cimex etc. now have prices up in both currencies but PanAmericana as a peso shop only prices in pesos as the pocket money allowances described as ‘salaries’ are made in cash as pesos. Obviously the regime is scared of inflation and justifiably so when one considers that Venezuela following the tutelage given by Fidel Castro initially to Hugo (he who almost smelled sweet following Labiofam producing a scent named after him) and later to Nicholas Maduro now has the highest inflation rate in the world. Such is socialismo at its best. Never mind however, for the hoardings still promote ‘Los Ideas’ that is the thoughts emanating from the fertile octogenarian minds of the Executive Committee of the PCC. The recent Congress changed nothing and the same old weary bunch were re-appointed as Ministers to the rapturous applause of the invitees and delegates – all without exception members of the Party. There was one moment on TV you would have relished with three seated people only, they were Raul Castro at 85, Ventura at 87 and Fidel at 90. Talk about the same old, old!

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    • May 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm
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      No, not correct. Selling 1 CUC provides 24 pesos. Buying takes 25 pesos to purchase 1 CUC. It is interesting to recall that three years ago, the Castro family regime announced that it was going to revert to having one currency. The only move towards that has been that the GAESA subsidiary stores TRD, Cimex etc. now have prices up in both currencies but PanAmericana as a peso shop only prices in pesos as the pocket money allowances described as ‘salaries’ are made in cash as pesos. Obviously the regime is scared of inflation and justifiably so when one considers that Venezuela now following the tutelage given by Fidel Castro initially to Hugo (he who almost smelled sweet following Labiofam producing a scent named after him) and later to Nicholas Maduro now has the highest inflation rate in the world. Such is socialismo

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  • May 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm
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    Fifty seven years later and Elio is still blindly writing that the Communist Party of Cuba “will continue to consolidate itself and grow until we have reached a prosperous and sustainable form of socialism” and that the 7th Congress reaffirmed that.
    I’ve got news for Elio, as Winston Churchill wisely said: “The inherent problem of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”
    It doesn’t get better Elio, it remains as it is and what matters to the regime is that it retains power and control. Any form of actual change threatens that and consequently the regime has a vested interest in preventing change. “To think as an individual is criminal.” “Che” Guevara. You Elio have accepted the concept of being part of the mass and one can only feel sorry about that.

    Reply

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