By D. Espinosa

 The Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party took place in the Conventions Palace of Havana from Avril 16th to 19th. A thousand of deputies and 280 guests discussed the main lines and the Cuban policy which will guide the country until 2030, although people in streets didn´t show the same enthusiasm.

As a continuation of the objectives approved at the First National Conference, this gathering remained the basis of the Statutes required for the celebration of the Congress. However, this seventh meeting didn´t has, as well as in preceding congresses, a previous process of popular discussion. Contradictorily the official Cuban newspaper Granma published a quote of the Cuban President at the closing ceremony of the First National Conference of the organization, urging to "foster high confidence climate and the creation of the conditions required at all levels to facilitate the most comprehensive and frank exchange of points of views, within the organization and in its links with the labor force and the population”

It´s been some years that the situation of Cuba and its people is not the same. Raul Castro acknowledged somehow the lack of appetite to enter the ranks of the Party, when in his speech announced that by the end of 2015 the amount of militants was 671 344, but with a decrease in the growth processes of the organization.

A thousand of representatives participate in the important meeting (43% of them women and 55 young people under 35 years), 60% of them leaders and high-ranking officials. Also there were attended university professors, researchers, fighters, grass roots leaders of mass organizations, religious leaders,intellectuals and artists; to discuss the conceptualization of the socialist Economic and Social Model of Cuba. Other topics were the progress of the economy in 2011-2015 period; the performance of the implementation of the Sixth Congress´s guidelines and its updating for stage 2016-2021, among other.

The meeting was celebrated a few weeks after the visit of President Barack Obama to the island, amid the gradual restoration of diplomatic and trade relationships between the US and Cuba and the opening of new businesses, both private (or self-employed) and cooperatives. These recent reforms are key, as stated the Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray to the digital media El Pais, to “evaluate the complex process opening to bilateral normalization and its impact in the immediate future." Only 21% of the guidelines has been implemented, while 77% still in process.

The documents exposed at the end of the Congress related to the conceptualization of the Economic and Social Cuban Model of Development were checked by 3500 people, and expect to be discussed later, as reported, "by the militancy of the Party and the Young Communist League, representatives of mass organizations and other sectors of society in order to enrich and improve it ".

The final document settles to empower "the Central Committee to be elected to introduce the modifications resulting from the consultation process and final approval, including appropriate adjustments to the guidelines to be adopted at this event."

However, many Cuban intellectuals outside the party agora urged to make other changes, such as the formulation of a new Constitution, according to Alzugaray, because "the withdrawal of the historic generation would conduce to a new institutional design to ensure that the leaders account to the people and act based on clear democratic rules”. Also, the historian Sergio Guerra Vilaboy insisted on "the renewal of management of Cuban government, as President Raul Castro himself has announced his decision of ending his mandate in 2018”.  True, Raúl Castro (after being limited in previous Congress to two periods of mandate, five years each one) will end up his function in just a couple of years.

  So far it seems that the political and economic architecture of the country is already designed; however as said by the researcher and essayist Julio Cesar Guanche, also for El País, let's hope that Congress (and therefore the governance of the country) continue "the positive and indispensable transformations of Cuban socialism to better adapt to the realities and complexities of today's world, but without abandoning the achievements of the Cuban Revolution”


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