Cuba’s Political Elite Meets Saturday

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 27 —A National Conference of the Communist Party of Cuba will begin Saturday morning and run through Sunday at the Havana Convention Center with the participation of 811 delegates, reports the Granma newspaper today.

The delegates will focus discussion on the reorganization of the party in the wake of the approval of the “Guidelines” for economic “updating” at the 6th Party Congress last April.  These are the focus of the Raul Castro government’s comprehensive program of reform with market economy elements, noted the dpa news agency.

In addition to those economic reforms, religious leaders and the opposition are calling for “political updating” so as to open up broad political participation to various social sectors.

Since October, thousands of meetings were held by party committees and chapters of the Young Communist League to discuss the Draft Document of the conference.

These activists submitted their views, which resulted in modifications to 78 of the document’s 96 objectives and the incorporation of five new ones, though there has been no public information about these additions.

(See the Spanish original or the English translation of the Draft Document of the party conference.)