On April 16th, the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) will begin, probably the last one to be led by the great historical figures who started and participated in the revolutionary process, victorious in 1959. And most of them are, in fact, over eighty (Fidel will turn 90 this year). Raúl Castro has already announced he will leave the post of president in two years, although it is not yet clear whether he will retire from that or from the position of first secretary of the PCC.
For this reason, there are great expectations that the leaders and delegates of the party (single) will also address the issue of generational change, as well as those of necessary economic and social reforms and policies (how will the next president be elected?).
These expectations got higher after the visit of President Barack Obama and the favorable impact his speech, focused on “looking to the future” and establishing “a new relationship” with the United States not “conditioned” by the past, have had on the Cuban people.
For this reason, voices have been raised against the six theses that will be presented to Congress. These documents are criticized for the way they were prepared and discussed, since they were entrusted to a thousand delegates and were not reviewed by the base.
Some days ago, Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, journalist of the union’s newspaper Trabajadores, took over the representation of these voices in an “open letter” written on his blog (paquitoeldecuba) and directed to President Raúl in which he criticized “the lack of” public “discussion” of the ” central documents” of the VII Congress, even saying that these documents are “secret until now,” kept not only from grassroots activists but also from the rest of the citizens.
Rodríguez called this situation “a step backward” in comparison to previous conferences and asked to postpone the sessions until the end of July in order to allow “the discussion of the program documents with the party’s base and the rest of the Cuban population. In short, also on behalf of other people, “militants and those outside the party”, the journalist believes that, given the importance of the economic, social and political choices to be made in this historic phase opened by the process of normalization of relations with the United States, only “an extended broad and participatory debate” would give “greater social consensus” to the decisions of the next Congress.