March 2016        

Cuban party congress aims to perfect socialism

Ernesto Vera, Prensa Latina

Between 16 and 18 April this year the Cuban Communist Party was engrossed in the continuous assessment of its programme. Following an extensive popular consultation process, the one thousand delegates elected this time around will evaluate the implementation of the Economic and Social Guidelines of the Party and the Revolution, approved at the First Conference of the Cuban Communist Party five years ago.
     The last congress, held in 2011, adopted measures to guarantee the deepening, sustainability and prosperity of the system for development chosen by Cubans more than fifty years ago.
     Although every economic and social sector, including the non-state sector, will be represented, on this occasion delegates for agriculture will account for a majority of the thousand participating. Indeed the essential requisites of the selection process ensure that all the country’s communist activists are represented, and that participation increasingly reflects respective areas of origin.
     Since 1 March last year delegates have organised meetings to consult on documents for consideration at the party’s highest forum, to be held at the Havana Convention Centre.
     Deputies of the National People’s Power Assembly (parliament), union leaders, young people, representatives of social and mass organisations and leaders of administrative and other institutions will participate in these debates.
     In June 2015 all PCC cells began to nominate delegate candidates, and it is from within these same structures that propositions are first conceived. Later, party municipal committees become responsible for the selection of a Candidate Commission to consider those nominated and to seek the views of their fellow-workers.
     As as result of this process, 43 per cent of delegates are women and 84 per cent are university graduates. Their average age is 48, and 55 are less than 35 years old.
     This selection phase followed work-place meetings and municipal, district and provincial party structured elections between September and December of last year.
     With the participation of 1½ million people—not all of them party activists—these meetings made a general evaluation of compliance with the Guidelines and the objectives approved at the PCC’s First Conference. They also looked at work with the younger generation and the confronting of manifestations of subversion and other negative tendencies, such as corruption, illegalities, and social indiscipline.
     The examination of these issues, with a focus on the responsibility of the party, will undoubtedly form part of the forthcoming Congress.
(Translation from Spanish by Seán Joseph Clancy)

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