Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Communist Party conference begins

Cuba’s national Communist Party conference begins today and Granma, the official party daily, sets the stage with a short editorial.

The “essential purpose” of the confab, the editorial says, is “to deepen party work to accelerate the development of society and to guarantee the economic and social policy guidelines (Lineamientos) approved by the sixth Party Congress, based on the concept that there can be no ideology without an economy.”

It also rails against “bureaucratic schemes and attitudes, and old vices such as improvisation, formalism, false unanimity, and opportunism.” It cites the need “to leave behind prejudices against the non-state sector of the economy.” And it cites Raul Castro’s admonition that the hardest “psychological barrier” that party members will need to overcome is that of “being tied to obsolete dogmas and points of view.”

The conference has the power to make changes in party leadership but there is no hint that it will do so.

The party discussion document for the conference is here (pdf).

A critical editorial on that document in Catholic media is noted here.

Here’s coverage from Reuters and NPR.

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