Why Wait So Long for a Congress?

Esteban Diaz

Many Cubans are waiting.  Photo: Caridad
Many Cubans are waiting. Photo: Caridad

A good while has passed since anyone has mentioned the “much anticipated” holding of the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP); I say “much anticipated” because many Cubans expect significant changes from it with respect to the country’s politics.

Over the last two years, several congresses of different mass organizations have taken place. Among these were the congresses of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), the Cuban Confederation of Trade Unions (CTC), and the National Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC).

In addition, I was informed that the 9th Congress of the Young Communist League (UJC) will be held shortly. Each of these has held more than five congresses over the last fifty years and their leaders are represented among the principal leaders of the CCP.

All this brings to mind the word “vanguard,” so I ask myself: If the CCP presents itself as the “vanguard,” why have the most important organizations of the masses in Cuba displayed greater democratic efforts from among their ranks?

Could it be that no important changes have taken place at the national and international level since 1975 -the year of the first CCP congress- to justify a greater number of congresses?  (The Communist Party of Cuba held its first Party Congress in 1975 and has had additional congresses in 1980, 1986, 1991 and 1997.  The last party congress was held twelve years ago, in 1997.)

Has the Central Committee of the CCP forgotten that at the beginning of the Third International -during the first four congresses, before the onset of the Stalinist debacle- it was specified that each party were required to call at least of one congress every two years, and they had to provide justification when these could not take place annually?

This is noted without forgetting that this occurred while the Bolshevik Party was in the middle of a civil war and resisting armed intervention by more than 21 armies from different countries, yet it did not forget the need to give fresh air to the struggles within the party itself?

Amid the tremendously sharp international economic crisis and with a setting full of social upheaval, the leaders of the CCP have again allowed themselves to postpone the congress set for this year.

In this way, we are seeing the Cuban “CP” dragging it followers through a trial of “religious faith,” offering neither a program nor democratic input on the measures needed to confront national and international circumstances.

As I mentioned, the organizations of the masses have displayed greater effort in functioning democratically, though I want to emphasize the word “effort.”  Nonetheless, if all fear caused by the arbitrary actions taken by a bureaucratic State is not lost, for the simple fact of thinking differently from the leaders, it is impossible to dream of effective proletarian democracy.

The level of demoralization among the Cuban public is appalling.  Criticism and persecution for holding a contrary opinion -outside or even within the socialist framework- has come to mean bringing home yet another thorn to add to everything else a worker has to endure in the struggle for survival.

Other factors for this demoralization are the lack of coherent and systematic political work that develops the critical political thinking of everyone, or at least among the workers; the economic contrast of those who hold leadership positions, the increasing numbers of lumpen, declining educational levels, the exaggerated claims of leaders and the capitalist siege, which continues unceasingly.

This makes it clear that if Cuba is in a period of transition; it is closer to capitalism than to reaching socialism.

In Cuba, today more than ever, what is missing is a Marxist party to formulate a program that organically links the national and the international struggles, a party that can develop a new way of producing social relationships through moral authority; that’s to say, from energy, experience, capacity and endurance – and not through a State that suffocates any attempt at social development.

4 thoughts on “Why Wait So Long for a Congress?

  • Cort, let’s think seriously. The core “principle” of Engels & Marx in the 2nd chptr of the Comm. Manifesto, for having and building socialism, is “to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State.”

    In the same chapter it says “. . . the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”

    These “principles” were never modified or changed by their authors.

    This way of having and building socialism has been tested in the honest laboratory of history. Each time it has led to the destruction of the transformation and reversion to some form of capitalism–except for Cuba, which unfortunately is tottering on the brink. (Some Cubans are calling today’s “statist” system “state capitalism.”)

    Marxism claims to be scientific. Science is based on the Scientific Method: hypothesis, experimentation, analysis, conclusion & if necessary, re-hypothesis.

    Cort, what’s the new hypothesis for Cuba, & all?

  • As a Marxist here in the States I keep abreast to what you all are saying and doing. I sent out your articles on the topics of the day to many different solidarity groups and lists and I question why they have not become more involved with the grassroots which are the lifeblood of any real revolution but some just want to toe the party line or un-party in this case.

    You all are doing a great job and offer the real hope of the future of Cuba.

    As Marx said “Question everything”
    The revolution must be completed and the capitalist roaders gotten rid of before its to late.

    For a Socialist Federation of the America’s

    Rojo Rojito

  • Esteban, Cuba has only one hope. It’s not a real Marxist party, blah, blah,blah. It’s looking at the real life experience of the world socialist movements, and the world experiences of the laboring people.

    First, look at the failures of all the socialist countries that have tried to follow the bogus recipe for socialism contained in the 2nd chapter of the Communist Manifesto, from the Stalin-led Soviet Union to Cuba. There’s your real Marxism, and it spells complete failure in the long run.

    Second, look at the brilliant successes of the worker-owned cooperatives in the Basque region of Spain around Mondragon. There’s the real economic basis of workable socialism.

    All that is needed in Cuba is for people like you to start using your heads for something besides hat racks, and reallize that workable socialist is cooperative corporations co-owned by workers and the state. If you do not, the Cuban Revolution will be lost–and apparently soon.

    Best wishes!

  • You see, Esteban, this is where socialists like you–who could do so much to rectify the Party and reform the system in your country–go wrong. You look at what goes on around you, see how dysfunctional it is, and automatically conclude that this mess is somehow contrary to “real Marxism.” You automatically conclude that what’s missing is a real “Marxist party.” Hello! What you have in Cuba is a “real Marxist party,” and that’s the problem.

    You and other faithfuls go wrong assuming that Marx was this near-divine individual who knew everything and laid it all out for the socialist movement in his writings, etc. But, you don’t go to the Manifesto 2n chapter and analyze it, to see if perhaps his pronouncements are the font of all of Cuba’s problems.

    So, you go along with cultish, sectarian faith in the holy Marx. Listen! “State-owns-everything” socialism comes from Marx. Running the economy without private property and the market comes from Marx.

    Plz wake up.

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