Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The party conference

Cuba’s Communist Party met over the weekend and decided that top party and government officials will be limited to two five-year terms, which would have put Fidel and Raul Castro themselves into retirement decades ago.

If you are among who might have been anticipating major political reforms or even the dismantling of the socialist system, Raul Castro’s message is that you are confusing your “most intimate hopes with reality.” Clear enough.

The President and party chief also made a frank admission that the party and government do not have a cohort of new leadership ready to take over from his own generation of historicos. But the only decision I see to address this is to replace one fifth of the Central Committee’s membership over the next five years, which sounds like a pace that is only marginally quicker than natural attrition.

His discussion of corruption happened to put U.S. democracy promotion programs into perspective. He said that corruption is “far more damaging than the programs of subversion and interference of the United States government.” He also signaled that major corruption prosecutions are forthcoming, and that legislators have been briefed on the results of investigations that are soon to come to light.

Here’s coverage from the Herald and La Jornada.

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