Source: Cuban News Agency (ACN), 19 April 2011.
President Raul Castro, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), described as excellent the results of the 6th Congress of the organization, which wound up on Tuesday with the presence of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.
On behalf of the almost 800,000 PCC members and 1,000 delegates to the Congress, Raul congratulated Cubans for their participation in the debates and their support for the Draft Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution.
He asserted that such support represents a grater commitment to guarantee the updating of the Cuban economic model, although –for the success of this strategy- efforts needs to be concentrated to ensure that the accords of this event are met, under the common denominator of order, discipline and rigor.
The head of state pointed out that its implementation will be gradually carried out in the course of a five-year period, with meticulous preparation for its implementation, intense work of promotion in the population, while being attentive – without feet and ears on the ground - to correct possible mistakes made during its implementation.
The main enemy, he warned, will be our own deficiencies. There’s no room for improvisation or haste. Changes that could be needed will be made as demanded by objective circumstances, always with the support and understanding of citizens, without putting the nation’s unity around the Revolution and its programs at risk. He expressed the view that Cuba has the necessary conditions to change its economic model and come out of crisis, without social traumas, due to the patriotism of the people, its education, and the just nature of their cause, among other factors.
Raul pointed out that Cuba will continue advancing, in spite of the US blockade, of the adverse conditions prevailing on the international market, where, due to the increase in oil prices, everything we purchase abroad becomes more expensive. According to recent data, the additional cost of imports this year is already of over 800 million dollars to purchase the same amounts planned, only due to the increase in prices, which will force us –as soon as the Congress concludes- to make adjustments to the plan approved in December, he said.
The Cuban leader announced that the National Conference of the Party will take place on January 28, 2012, which will be a continuation of the 6th Congress and that it will examine, with critical realism, the work of the Party and the changes required to exercise its role as leading force of the society and the State, included in Article Five of the Constitution of the Republic.
With regard to the election of the members of the Central Committee, the Secretariat and the Politburo, he underlined that a first step in the policy to choose leaders was taken, particularly with respect to the beginning of a gradual process of renewal and rejuvenation of the chain of political and state positions, while at the same time it improved composition in terms of race and gender.
He explained that the Central Committee is now composed of 115 members, 48 of them women (41.7 percent), which triple the previous proportion, while black people and people of mixed race are 36, for a 10 percent increase.
Raul went into great detail about the fact that all of them were selected from a large pool of university graduates and specialists, sons and daughters of the working class, from the most humble strata of the people, with an active political life in students’ organizations, the Young Communists League and the Cuban Communist Party.
He cited the case of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, who -he pointed out- set the first example of consistent attitude in this regard, when he specifically requested not to be included in the candidacy for the Central Committee. However, he exclaimed, Fidel is Fidel and he doesn’t need any post to occupy, for ever, a topmost place in history, in the present and future of the Cuban nation.
As long as his strength allows him to do so, and fortunately he’s at the height of his political thinking, and from his modest capacity as militant and soldier of ideas, he will continue contributing to the revolutionary struggle and to the noblest objectives of mankind. Raul confirmed that he assumes his last task with the firm conviction and commitment of honor that the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party has as his main mission and meaning of his life: to defend, preserve and continue perfecting Socialism, and never allow the capitalist regime to return.
He recalled the historic significance of the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist nature of the Revolution and of the resounding victory over the mercenary invasion at Bay of Pigs, achieved under Fidel’s guide. Finally, he expressed his gratitude for the weapons supplied by the former Soviet Union – with which it was possible to defeat that aggression in less that 72 hours - and for the solidarity and support of other peoples of the world, which have successively voted at the UN General Assembly against the economic, financial and commercial blockade of the United States against Cuba.