Raul Castro said in Havana at the start of the party meeting that he was happy to be able to hand over the leadership of the country to well-prepared officials who championed the continuation of the Cuban revolution in 1959. It was not clear who would succeed the army general at the head of the party. The Cuban Communist Party, or PCC for short, is the only party in the Caribbean state
More than 60 years of Castro
For the first time since its founding in 1965, Castro will not take over the leadership of the party after Monday’s party convention. Raul Castro took over the position of First Secretary in 2011 from his older brother, the revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, who died in 2016. The Castro brothers had been at the helm of the Caribbean state for more than six decades, so most of the country’s inhabitants do not remember the time before this era.
However, personnel changes have been made in recent years. Perhaps the most important: three years ago, Raul Castro gave up the position of president to Miguel Diaz-Canel. This is close to Castro and he can also inherit from him the position of party leader. PCCs have taken place roughly every five years since they first met in 1975. This time, due to the Corona pandemic, only about 300 delegates participated instead of the 1,000 regular delegates. Among other things, they elect the Central Committee.
Self-praise, but also self-criticism
When presenting the report to the commission, Castro highlighted Cuba’s efforts to deal with the pandemic. He also mentioned economic reforms. For a long time there were two domestic currencies. It was right to cancel one of them at the beginning of this year. Castro also admitted “negligence” in implementing reforms. Above all, excessive pricing is a problem.
Problems like corruption persist. Castro also emphasized that Cuba wanted a respectful dialogue with the old archenemy, the United States, without making concessions regarding its sovereignty and independence. The Cuban economy has recently suffered severely from increasingly severe US sanctions during the tenure of former President Donald Trump and from the collapse of tourism in the Corona pandemic. There were no cruise ships carrying American tourists, and remittances received by Cubans from their relatives abroad decreased.
For a few months now, social discontent has been unusually noticeable in Cuba – which has to do with the spread of the internet. In the internet, young people are increasingly demanding political freedom.
Haz / mak (dpa, afp, rtr)
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