Communist Party Meets to Plot the Future for Cubans

The stage is set for the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Photo: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu
The stage is set for the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. Photo: Ismael Francisco/cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) opens its 7th Congress today in Havana. Over four days, delegates are expected to approve the leadership’s plans for the future in these times of economic crisis, aging leaders, a new relationship with the United States and the opening to foreign capital.

The last congress took place in 2011, and this one could well be the last presided over by Raul Castro, 84, who says he will not assume a new term as president of Cuba in 2018.

The PCC has a membership of about 10% of the Cuban population and no other political party is permitted. General/president Raul Castro is also the first secretary of the Party. The Congress is made up by 1,000 delegates from around the island.

Former President Fidel Castro is officially one of the Congress delegates, although it is unclear whether the veteran leader of 89 years will attend the meetings at the Havana Convention Center. In 2011, he was at the event.  His recent written criticisms of Barack Obama’s address to Cubans and a rare public appearance at a school, added speculation on his possible attending the Congress.

The PCC will follow up on the program of market reforms formally adopted at the previous Congress, held in April 2011, according to information published in the official press. Granma newspaper noted that the government has implemented only 21 percent of the reforms approved in 2011.

In the coming days the delegates must elect members of the Central Committee of the PCC, which in turn determines the members of the Politburo, regarded as the top leadership below the Castros.

Raul Castro announced in 2013 that will leave office in February 2018 and had previously proposed a reform to term limits for senior officials to a maximum of 10 years. It is estimated that the Congress could now give the green light to these changes, perhaps with a constitutional amendment.

“It’s the last Congress that takes place in the life of the historic generation” of the Revolution and should “leave more or less inscribed its legacy,” Cuban analyst Carlos Alzugaray told dpa.

The details of the Congress have been surrounded by secrecy, as is usual in political events of this nature in Cuba.

Even some PCC members criticized in previous weeks the failure to release the documents to be discussed at the Congress, as occurred in previous events.

The Party Congress is expected to support the new policy of dialogue between Cuba and the United States, after decades of ideological hostilities between the two countries.

It is commonplace at such events that virtually everything proposed by the leadership is approved by the unanimous vote of the delegates, as occurs in the Cuban parliament.


19 thoughts on “Communist Party Meets to Plot the Future for Cubans

  • April 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm
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    No political system more corrupt? Have you never heard of what’s going on in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Venezuela, and several other Latin American countries? Not to mention the African continent and eastern Europe. Do you hate the US so much that you are just making up negative things to say, no matter how wrong they are?

  • April 18, 2016 at 11:36 am
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    The CPP does not meet to plan or plot anything. It exists as a rubber stamp for the Castro regime. The resolutions have already been written & the CCP will approve everything put to them by Raul Castro.

  • April 18, 2016 at 11:05 am
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    FYI, just prior to the November elections in 1968, folks like you made the same negative predictions. Here we 50 years later. ….

  • April 18, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    Young octogenarians? Talk about oxymoron! Hahaha!

  • April 18, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    Unwilling.

  • April 18, 2016 at 10:33 am
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    No you wouldn’t. If you really preferred the Castros, you would live in Cuba. Besides, while the US system continues to devolve, it remains a democratic process. It ain’t pretty but at the end of the day, the people will have spoken.

  • April 17, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    Well, having grown up in my teens during the sixties, we changed a few minds especially at the dinner table so perhaps that’s what is needed in Cuba. Seeing uncensored videos of the past few concerts in Cuba, the young aren’t going to sit still watching the world advance and not having a future. Change must happen within Cuba and hopefully sooner than later but there is a strong base of educated, disciplined youth so time will tell.

  • April 17, 2016 at 5:20 am
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    You say you prefer the Cuban system, but you live in Canada. What a farce you armchair leftists are.

  • April 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    Of course Ben. Take the Cuban system, where the results are known ahead of time and the government is always ruled by someone with surname of Castro. A rubber stamp government where the people live under the boot of a dictatorship. I have lived that reality. I don’t recommend it.

  • April 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm
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    I can’t see more than four years for Hillary. There’s going to be a lot more discontent among the masses during the next period and I can clearly see the move toward a Fascist type strong man. Civil liberties will be curtailed with an emphasis on the Police and the Military maintaining “law & order”. The so called War on Poverty has been a failure. More poverty than ever. The War on Drugs has been a failure. More drugs than ever to now reach epidemic proportions. The Political System is corrupt. The Economic System is corrupt. The infrastructure is falling apart. The educational system is a mess. The criminal justice system is a mess. Criminal activity is out of control. The National Debt is out of control. And they want to introduce all of this enlightenment into Cuba! Mexico is indeed a good example of what can happen with the introduction of American Style Democracy.

  • April 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm
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    I wish they had used “plan” rather than “plot”

  • April 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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    Ben I agree, the American eternal election cycle is getting old, there is no political system more corrupt and more useless than the U.S.

  • April 16, 2016 at 3:29 pm
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    It’s time to stop spouting your usual rhetoric, are you incapable or just unwilling to start a new chapter and move forward.

  • April 16, 2016 at 1:26 pm
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    The only thing that is likely to change is the people’s appearance they will still spout the same rhetoric. Castro brothers reincarnated. More of the same!

  • April 16, 2016 at 1:25 pm
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    Cuba could do worse. In Mexico, for example, the election was stolen from the left in 2000. PAN proved to be just as corrupt as the PRI and, in the meantime, the Mexican society and its economy have degenerated to the point of mass migration to the North and uncontrolable criminality and corruption at home. Meanwhile, in the North, the next go-around will be Trump vs Hilary. Though the latter will win, since she owes her soul to the company store (i.e. Wall Street) her solutions will be no better than Obama’s. Without a true parliamentary system, the left is as disenfranchised up here as it is in Mexico. After four- or eight-more years of corruption, inaction, or lack of adequate action to address our fundamental problems, I suspect America will be ready for a real fascist dictator, rather than the current clown who is auditioning for that role. In this case, it will be just the opposite of Marx’s dictum about History repeating itself, first as a tragedy and then as a farce. The next time around it probably WILL happen here. The ruling class just has to perfect its techniques.

  • April 16, 2016 at 11:37 am
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    At least they’re not warning of riots at their convention. What a farce the American Presidential election process is. A two year soap opera. I’ll take the Cuban system any day.

  • April 16, 2016 at 11:06 am
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    These are not young octogenarian’s. The house of Castro is in it’s last years. Those that follow inherit a failed socialist model and citizens that no longer buy the lies of the left. The toaletarian left or facist right is a false choice. Liberal democracies with strong social safety nets are possible.

  • April 16, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    This Congress, like the previous Congresses, promises to be a total ‘circle-jerk’. Cuba is a dictatorship. Worse yet, a dictatorship run by octogenarians.

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