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Cuban Communist Party Congress Meets amid Economic Changes

LADB Article ID: 79949
Category/Department: Cuba
Date: 2016-04-14
By: Daniel Vázquez

The Cuban Communist Party, constitutionally considered to be the governing organ of Cuban society, will meet this month for its seventh congress in the midst of internal changes in the national economy and a continuing process of rapprochement with the United States, the island’s chief enemy for more than half a century and therefore blamed for almost all of its shortages. The meeting of a thousand delegates, among them former ruler Fidel Castro and President Raúl Castro, will be held between April 16 and April 19, five years after the last congress. In these conclaves, it is customary to outline short- and long-term political, economic, and social guidelines, a process that will unleash a succession of pronouncements from the state media reaffirming the Cuban socialist project. On this occasion, however, the preparations for the congress, begun in 2015, did not involve a process of deep debates at the party’s core, as did preparations for previous convocations. In recent days, this has led some activists to suggest postponing the forum for a few months to allow for in-depth conversations on the island’s new situation, specifically the recent economic reforms (NotiCen, Oct. 15, 2015), the rise of self-employment, and the restoration of diplomatic relations with Washington.

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