The Communist Party of Cuba (PCC, the only legal one) will begin its VIII Congress this Friday, which is expected to promote a generational renewal and definitively accelerate the reforms begun a decade ago, in the midst of the economic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the embargo from the United States.
The conclave, which will be held until April 19 behind closed doors and without access to the foreign press, will mark the announced dismissal of Raúl Castro as the organization’s first secretary and the appointment to that position of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.RELATED
Raúl Castro, who will turn 90 in June, has led the PCC since the previous congress held in 2016, when he received from his brother Fidel – who died in November of the same year – the replacement as first secretary of the highest governing body of the Cuban State.
At that time, the youngest of the Castros indicated that this congress would be “the last of the historical generation,” described the generational replacement as “strategic” and established age limits for its highest leadership.
Two years later, in 2018, he cleared up the mystery about his successor in office by revealing that it would be Díaz-Canel, during his last speech as the ruler of Cuba before the National Assembly (unicameral Parliament).
The new rules set the maximum age to join the Central Committee of the PCC at 60 years and establish a limit of 70 to hold management positions in the organization.
Thus, it is expected that the imminent Congress will provide more replacements of historical veterans who remain in the dome, among which could be the number two of the all-powerful single party, José Ramón Machado Ventura, and the rise to its dome of leaders born after the Revolution that triumphed on the island in 1959.
In addition to the generational change, according to state media in recent weeks, the agenda of the conclave will focus on analyzing the results of the economic reforms proposed a decade ago.
This analysis will take place in the midst of a serious economic situation in the Caribbean country, with the tensions added by the current third wave of the coronavirus and the increase in chronic shortages of food and basic products, which has fueled unrest and discontent in the population .
This congress will also focus on ideological reinforcement by addressing issues such as the functioning of the Party, its link with the masses, propaganda activity, the politics of its leaders and the Union of Young Communists, social organizations and the Government.
An issue that is supposed to be present is the demand for the end of the commercial and financial embargo applied by the United States Government to the island for almost six decades, which former President Donald Trump tightened with more sanctions, a policy on which no have seen changes after the arrival of his successor, Joe Biden, to the White House.
The meeting of the single Cuban party will take place in the Havana Convention Center, where the delegates elected to represent the Cuban provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud will meet in a blended manner.