Central Report to the 6th Congress
of the Communist Party of Cuba
The opening of the 6thCongress of the Communist Party of Cuba this
afternoon marks a date of extraordinary significance in our history, the
50thanniversary of the proclamation of the socialist nature of our
Revolution by its Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, on April 16, 1961,
as we paid our last respects to those killed the day before during the
bombings of the air bases. This action, which was the prelude to the Playa
Girón (Bay of Pigs) mercenary invasion organized and funded by the United
States government, was part of its plans to destroy the Revolution and
restore its domination over Cuba in league with the Organization of
American States (OAS).
On that occasion, Fidel said to the people already armed and inflamed with
passion: “This is what they cannot forgive us…that we have made a
Socialist Revolution right under the nose of the United States…”
“Comrades, workers and farmers, this is the Socialist and democratic
Revolution of the people, by the people and for the people. And for this
Revolution of the people, by the people and for the people, we are willing
to give our lives.”
The response to this appeal would not take long; in the fight against the
aggressor a few hours later, the combatants of the Ejército Rebelde,
police agents and militiamen shed their blood, for the first time, in
defense of socialism and attained victory in less than 72 hours under the
personal leadership of comrade Fidel.
The Military Parade that we watched this morning, dedicated to the young
generations, and particularly the vigorous popular march that followed,
are eloquent proof of the fortitude of the Revolution to follow the
example of the heroic fighters of Playa Girón.
Next May 1st, on the occasion of the International Workers Day, we will do
likewise throughout the country to show the unity of Cubans in defense of
their independence and national sovereignty, which as proven by history,
can only be conquered through Socialism.
This Congress, the supreme body of the Party, as set forth in article 20
of its Statutes, brings together today one thousand delegates representing
nearly 800 thousand party members affiliated to over 61 thousand party
cells. But, this Congress really started on November 9 last year, with the
release of the Draft Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the
Party and the Revolution, a subject that, as previously indicated, will be
at the center of the debates of this meeting that is regarded with great
expectations by our people.
As of that moment, numerous seminars were organized to clarify and to
delve into the content of the Guidelines in order to adequately train the
cadres and officials who would lead the discussions of the material by the
party members, mass organizations and the people in general.
The discussions extended for three months, from December 1, 2010 to
February 28 of this year, with the participation of 8, 913,838 people in
more than 163 thousand meetings held by the different organizations in
which over three million people offered their contributions. I want to
make clear that, although it has not been accurately determined yet, the
total figure of participants includes tens of thousands of members of the
Party and the Young Communist League who attended the meetings in their
respective cells but also those convened in their work or study centers in
addition to those of their communities. This is also the case of non-party
members who took part in the meetings organized at their work centers and
later at their communities.
Even the National Assembly of People’s Power dedicated nearly two work
sessions in its latest Ordinary Meeting held this past December to analyze
with the deputies the Draft Guidelines.
This process has exposed the capacity of the Party to conduct a serious
and transparent dialogue with the people on any issue, regardless of how
sensitive it might be, especially as we try to create a national consensus
on the features that should characterize the country’s Social and Economic
At the same time, the data collected from the results of the discussions
become a formidable working tool for the government and Party leadership
at all levels, like a popular referendum given the depth, scope and pace
of the changes we must introduce.
In a truly extensive democratic exercise, the people freely stated their
views, clarified their doubts, proposed amendments, expressed their
dissatisfactions and discrepancies, and suggested that we work toward the
solution of other problems not included in the document.
Once again the unity and confidence of most Cubans in the Party and the
Revolution were put to the test; a unity that far from denying the
difference of opinions is strengthened and consolidated by them. Every
opinion, without exception, was incorporated to the analysis, which helped
to enhance the Draft submitted to the consideration of the delegates to
It would be fair to say that, in substance, the Congress was already held
in that excellent debate with the people. Now, it is left to us as
delegates to engage in the final discussion of the Draft and the election
of the higher organs of party leadership.
The Economic Policy Commission of the 6th Party Congress first entrusted
with the elaboration of the Draft Guidelines and then with the
organization of the discussions has focused on the following five issues:
- Reformulation of the guidelines bearing in mind the opinions
- Organization, orientation and control of their implementation.
- The thorough training of the cadres and other participants for the
implementation of some of the measures already enforced.
- Systematic oversight of the agencies and institutions in charge of
enforcing the decisions stemming from the guidelines and evaluation of
- Leading the process of information to the people.
In compliance with the aforesaid, the Draft Guidelines were
reformulated and then submitted to analysis by both the Political Bureau
and the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, on March 19 and
20, respectively, with the participation of the Secretariat of the Party’s
Central Committee and the top leaders of the Central Trade Union (CTC),
the Young Communist League (UJC) and the other mass organizations,
approved at that level –also as a draft—and then delivered to you for its
examination during three days in every provincial delegation to the
Congress and for its discussion at the five commissions of this party
meeting for its subsequent approval.
Next, I will offer some data to illustrate our people on the results of
the discussions of the Draft Guidelines, even though detailed information
will be published later.
The original document contained 291 guidelines; 16 of them were moved to
others; 94 preserved their phrasing; 181 had their content modified; and,
36 new guidelines were incorporated for a grand total of 311 guidelines in
the current draft.
A simple arithmetic operation with these numbers avows the quality of the
consultation process as a result of which approximately two thirds of the
guidelines –68% to be exact—was reformulated.
The principle that guided this process was that the validity of a proposal
would not depend on the number of opinions expressed about it. This is
shown by the fact that several guidelines were either modified or removed
based on the opinion of only one person or a small number of them.
It is also worth explaining that some opinions were not included at this
stage either because the issue deserved a more exhaustive analysis for
which the necessary conditions did not exist or because they openly
contradicted the essence of socialism, as for example 45 proposals
advocating the concentration of property.
I mean that, although the prevailing tendency was a general understanding
of and support for the content of the Guidelines, there was no unanimity;
and that is precisely what was needed for we really wanted this to be a
democratic and serious consultation with the people.
For this reason, I can assure you that the Guidelines are an expression of
our people’s will, contained in the policy of the Party, the Government
and the State, to update the Economic and Social Model in order to secure
the continuity and irreversibility of Socialism as well as the economic
development of the country and the improvement of the living standard of
our people combined with the indispensable formation of ethical and
As expected, most of the proposals made during the discussion of the Draft
Guidelines were focused on Chapter VI, “Social Policy” and Chapter II
“Macroeconomic Policies”; both accounted for 50.9% of the total, followed,
in descending order, by Chapter XI, “Construction, Housing and Water
Resources Policy”; Chapter X, “Transportation Policy”; and, Chapter I,
“Economic Management Model.” In fact, 75% of the opinions expressed
focused on these five chapters out of a total of twelve.
On the other hand, 67% of the proposals referred to 33 guidelines, that
is, 11% of the total. In fact, the highest number of proposals pertained
to guidelines number 162, dealing with the removal of the ration book; 61
and 62, on the pricing policy; 262, on passengers’ transportation; 133, on
education; 54, related to the establishment of a single currency; and,
143, on the quality of healthcare services.
Undoubtedly, the ration book and its removal spurred most of the
contributions of the participants in the debates, and it is only natural.
Two generations of Cubans have spent their lives under this rationing
system that, despite its harmful egalitarian quality, has for four decades
ensured every citizen access to basic food at highly subsidized derisory
This distribution mechanism introduced in times of shortages during the
1960s, in the interest of providing equal protection to our people from
those involved in speculation and hoarding with a lucrative spirit, has
become in the course of the years an intolerable burden to the economy and
discouraged work, in addition to eliciting various types of
Since the ration book is designed to provide equal coverage to 11 million
Cubans, there are more than a few examples of absurdities such as
allocating a quota of coffee to the newborn. The same happened with
cigarettes until September 2010 as they were supplied to smokers and
non-smokers alike thus fostering the expansion of that unsafe habit in the
Regarding this sensitive issue, the span of opinions is very broad, from
those who suggest dismissing it right away to others who categorically
oppose its removal and propose to ration everything, the industrial goods
included. Others are of the view that in order to successfully prevent
hoarding and ensure everybody’s access to basic foods, it would be
necessary, in a first stage, to keep the products rationed even if no
longer subsidized. Quite a few have recommended depriving of the ration
book those who neither study nor work or advised that the people with
higher incomes relinquish that system voluntarily.
Certainly, the use of the ration book to distribute the basic foods, which
was justified under concrete historic circumstances, has remained with us
for too long even when it contradicts the substance of the distribution
principle that should characterize Socialism, that is, “From each in
accordance with his ability and to each in accordance with his labor,” and
this situation should be resolved.
In this connection, it seems appropriate to recall what comrade Fidel
indicated in his Central Report to the First Party Congress on December
17, 1975: “There is no doubt that in the organization of our economy we
have erred on the side of idealism and sometimes even ignored the reality
of the objective economic laws we should comply with.”
The problem we are facing has nothing to do with concepts, but rather with
how to do it, when to do it, and at what pace. The removal of the ration
book is not an end in itself, and it should not be perceived as an
isolated decision but rather as one of the first indispensable measures
aimed at the eradication of the deep distortions affecting the operation
of the economy and society as a whole.
No member of the leadership of this country in their right mind would
think of removing that system by decree, all at once, before creating the
proper conditions to do so, which means undertaking other transformations
of the Economic Model with a view to increasing labor efficiency and
productivity in order to guarantee stable levels of production and
supplies of basic goods and services accessible to all citizens but no
Of course, this issue is closely related to pricing and to the
establishment of a single currency, as well as to wages and to the
“reversed pyramid” phenomenon which as spelled out at the Parliament last
December 18, is expressed in the mismatch between salaries and the ranking
or importance of the work performed. These problems came up often in the
contributions made by the citizens.
In Cuba, under socialism, there will never be space for “shock therapies”
that go against the neediest, who have traditionally been the staunchest
supporters of the Revolution; as opposed to the packages of measures
frequently applied on orders of the International Monetary Fund and other
international economic organizations to the detriment of the Third World
peoples and, lately enforced in the highly developed nations where
students’ and workers’ demonstrations are violently suppressed.
The Revolution will not leave any Cuban helpless. The social welfare
system is being reorganized to ensure a rational and deferential support
to those who really need it. Instead of massively subsidizing products as
we do now, we shall gradually provide for those people lacking other
This principle is absolutely valid for the restructuring of the work
force, –an ongoing process-- streamlining the bloated payrolls in the
public sector on the basis of a strict assessment of the workers’
demonstrated capacity. This process will continue slowly but
uninterruptedly, its pace determined by our capacity to create the
necessary conditions for its full implementation.
Other elements will have an impact on this process, including the
expansion and easing of labor in the non-public sector. This modality of
employment that over 200 thousand Cubans have adopted from October last
year until today --twice as many as before-- make up an alternative
endorsed by the current legislation, therefore, it should enlist the
support, assistance and protection of the officials at all levels while
demanding strict adherence to the ensuing obligations, including tax
The growth of the non-public sector of the economy, far from an alleged
privatization of the social property as some theoreticians would have us
believe, is to become an active element facilitating the construction of
socialism in Cuba since it will allow the State to focus on rising the
efficiency of the basic means of production, which are the property of the
entire people, while relieving itself from those management of activities
that are not strategic for the country.
This, on the other hand, will make it easier for the State to continue
ensuring healthcare and education services free of charge and on equal
footing to all of the people and their adequate protection through the
Social Welfare System; the promotion of physical education and sports; the
defense of the national identity; and, the preservation of the cultural
heritage, and the artistic, scientific and historic wealth of the nation.
Then, the Socialist State will have more possibilities to make a reality
of the idea expressed by Martí that can be found heading our Constitution:
“I want the first Law of our Republic to be the Cubans’ cult of the full
dignity of man.”
It is the responsibility of the State to defend national independence and
sovereignty, values in which the Cubans take pride, and to continue
securing the public order and safety that make Cuba one of the safest and
most peaceful nations of the world, without drug-trafficking or organized
crime; without beggars or child labor; without the mounted police charging
against workers, students and other segments of the population; without
extrajudicial executions, clandestine jails or tortures, despite the
groundless smear campaigns constantly orchestrated against us overlooking
the fact that such realities are, foremost, basic human rights that most
people on Earth can’t even aspire to.
Now, in order to guarantee all of these conquests of Socialism, without
renouncing their quality and scope, the social programs should be
characterized by greater rationality so that better and sustainable
results can be obtained in the future with lower spending and keeping the
balance with the general economic situation of the country.
As you can see in the Guidelines, these ideas do not contradict the
significance we attach to the separate roles to be played in the economy
by the state institutions, on the one hand, and the enterprises, on the
other, an issue that for decades has been fraught with confusion and
improvisations and that we are forced to resolve on a mid-term basis in
the context of the strengthening and improvement of institutionalization.
A full understanding of these concepts will permit a solid advance while
avoiding backward steps in the gradual decentralization of powers from the
Central to the local governments, and from the ministries and other
national agencies in favor of the increasing autonomy of the socialist
The excessively centralized model characterizing our economy at the moment
shall move in an orderly fashion, with discipline and the participation of
all workers, toward a decentralized system where planning will prevail, as
a socialist feature of management, albeit without ignoring the current
market trends. This will contribute to the flexibility and constant
updating of the plan.
The lesson taught by practical experience is that an excessive
centralization inhibits the development of initiatives in the society and
in the entire production line, where the cadres got used to having
everything decided “at the top” and thus ceased feeling responsible for
the outcome of the entities they headed.
Our entrepreneurs, with some exceptions, settled themselves comfortably
safe and quiet “to wait” and developed an allergy to the risks involved in
making decisions, that is, in being right or wrong. This mentality
characterized by inertia should definitely be removed to be able to cut
the knots that grip the development of the productive forces. This is a
pursuit of strategic significance, thus it is no accident that it has been
reflected one way or another in the 24 guidelines contained in Chapter I,
“Economic Management Model.”
As far as this issue is concerned, we cannot indulge in improvisations or
act hastily. In order to decentralize and change that mentality, it is
indispensable to elaborate a framework of regulations clearly defining the
powers of and functions at every level, from the national to the local,
invariably accompanied by the corresponding accounting, financial and
Progress is already being made in that direction. The studies began almost
two years ago for improving the operation as well as the structure and
makeup of the government at the different levels. These resulted in the
enforcement of the Council of Ministers Regulation, the reorganization of
the work system with the State and Government cadres, the introduction of
a planning procedure for the most important activities, the establishment
of the organizational bases to provide the Government with an accurate and
timely information system supported by its own info-communications
infrastructure, and the creation of the provinces of Artemisa and
Mayabeque, on experimental basis and under a new structural and functional
To begin decentralizing powers, it will be necessary for the cadres of the
State and the companies to redeem the obvious role of contracts in the
economy, as expressed in guideline number 10. This will also help bring
back order and discipline to making and obtaining payments, a subject in
which a good part of our economy has been getting poor grades.
As a no less important byproduct, the appropriate use of contracts as
regulatory instruments of relations among the various economic actors will
become an effective antidote against the extended habit of “reunionism,”
that is, calling an excessive number of meetings and other collective
functions, often presided by senior officials and uselessly attended by
many others, only to enforce what the parties involved recognized as
rights and obligations in the contract signed, and whose fulfillment they
have failed to demand from those required to do so.
In this respect, it is worth emphasizing that 19 opinions, registered in 9
provinces, claimed for a reduction in the number of meetings and their
duration to the minimum indispensable. This issue I intend to take up
again when dealing with the functioning of the Party.
We are convinced that the mission ahead of us in connection with this and
other issues related to the updating of the Economic Model is full of
complexities and interrelations that, one way or another, touch on every
aspect of the society as a whole. Therefore, we are aware that it is not
something that can be solved overnight, not even in one year, and that it
will take at least five years to implement it comprehensively and
harmoniously. And, when this is achieved, it will be necessary to never
stop and to continue working for its improvement in order to successfully
face the new challenges brought up by development.
Metaphorically speaking, it might be said that every now and then, as the
scenario changes, the country should make its own well-tailored suit.
We are not under the illusion that the Guidelines and the measures
conducive to the implementation of the Economic Model will by themselves
provide a universal remedy to all our evils. It will be required to
simultaneously build a greater political awareness and common sense, and
to be more intransigent with the lack of discipline and the violations
committed by all, but primarily by the leading cadres.
This became all too evident a few months back in the flaws observed during
the implementation of some specific measures --neither complex nor of
great magnitude-- due to bureaucratic obstacles and the lack of
preparation of the local governments for the expansion of self-employment.
It is worthwhile reiterating that our cadres must get used to working with
the guiding documents issued by the institutions empowered to do so and
abandon the irresponsible habit of putting them on ice. Life teaches that
it is not enough to issue a good regulation, whether a law or simply a
resolution. It is necessary to also train those in charge of its
implementation, to monitor them and to check their practical knowledge of
the issue. Let’s not forget that the worst law is that which is not
enforced or respected.
The system of Party schools at the provincial and national level, along
with the unavoidable reorientation of their syllabus, will play a
protagonist role in the preparation and continuous recycling in these
subjects of Party and government cadres as well as the company executives
with the aid of the educational institutions specialized in this area of
knowledge and the valuable input of the members of the National
Association of Economists and Accountants, as it was the case with the
discussion of the Guidelines.
At the same time, and with the purpose of effectively arranging in order
of importance the introduction of the required changes, the Political
Bureau agreed to bring to the Congress the proposal of establishing of a
Standing Government Commission for Implementation and Development,
subordinated to the President of the Council of State and Ministers which,
without affecting in any way the powers invested in the corresponding
Central Government Organs, will be responsible for monitoring, checking
and coordinating the actions of everyone involved in this activity, and
for proposing the insertion of new guidelines, something that will be
indispensable in the future.
In this token, we feel it is advisable to remember the orientation
included by comrade Fidel in his Central Report to the First Party
Congress, nearly 36 years ago, about the Economy Management System that we
intended to introduce back then and failed due to our lack of
systematization, control and discipline. He said “…that the Party leaders
but foremost the State leaders turn its implementation into a personal
undertaking and a matter of honor as they grow more aware of its crucial
importance and the need to make every effort to apply it consistently,
always under the leadership of the National Commission created to that
end…,” and he concluded: “…to widely disseminate information on the
system, its principles and mechanisms through a kind of literature within
reach of the masses so that the workers can master the issue. The success
of the system will largely depend on the workers knowledge of the issue.”
I will not tire of repeating that in this Revolution everything has been
said. The best example of this we have in Fidel’s ideas that Granma, the
Official Party organ, has been running in the past few years.
Whatever we approve in this Congress cannot suffer the same fate as the
previous agreements, most of them forgotten and unfulfilled. Whatever it
is that we agree upon in this or future meetings must guide the behavior
and action of Party members and leaders alike and its materialization must
be ensured through the corresponding legal instruments produced by the
National Assembly of People’s Power, the State Council or the Government,
in accordance with their legislative powers and the Constitution.
It’s only fair to say very clearly, in order to avoid misinterpretations,
that the agreements reached by congresses and other leading Party organs
do not become law in themselves. They are orientations of a political and
moral nature, and it is incumbent on the Government, which is the body in
charge of management, to regulate their implementation.
This is why the Standing Commission for Implementation and Development
will include a Judicial Subgroup made up by highly qualified specialists
who will coordinate with the corresponding organs --with full respect for
institutionalization— the legal amendments required to accompany the
updating of the Economic and Social Model, simplifying and harmonizing the
content of hundreds of ministerial resolutions, legislative decrees and
legislations, and subsequently proposing, in due course, the introduction
of the relevant adjustments to the Constitution of the Republic.
Without waiting to have everything worked out, progress has been made in
the legal regulations associated with the purchase and sale of housing and
cars, the modification of Legislative Decree No. 259 expanding the limits
of fallow land to be awarded in usufruct to those agricultural producers
with outstanding results and the granting of credits to self-employed
workers and to the population at large.
Likewise, we consider it advisable to propose to this Congress that the
first point of the agenda of every plenary meeting of the next Central
Committee, to be held no less than twice a year, is a report on the status
of the implementation of the agreements adopted in this Congress on the
updating of the Economic Model, and that the second point is an analysis
on the fulfillment of the economic plan, be it from the first semester or
from the running year.
We also recommend the National Assembly of People’s Power to proceed in
the same way during its ordinary sessions with the purpose of
strengthening its protagonist role as the supreme organ of the State
Starting from the deep conviction that nothing that we do is perfect and
that even if it seems so today it will not be tomorrow under new
circumstances, the higher organs of the Party and the State and Government
Powers should keep a systematic and close oversight on this process and be
ready to timely introduce any adjustments called for to correct negative
It’s a question of being alert, with our feet and ears to the ground, and
when a practical problem arise, whatever the area or the place, the cadres
at the different levels must act swiftly and deliberately avoiding the old
approach of leaving its solution to time, since we have learned from
experience that the problems grow more complicated as time goes by.
In the same token, we should cultivate and preserve a fluid relationship
with the masses, devoid of formality, that would allow for an efficient
feed-back of their concerns and dissatisfactions so that the masses can
indicate the pace of the changes to be introduced.
The attention paid to a recent misunderstanding on the reorganization of
some basic services shows that when the Party and the Government, each in
its own role, with different methods and styles, act promptly and
harmoniously on the concerns of the people providing clear and simple
explanations, the people support the measure and their confidence in their
The Cuban media in its various formats should play a decisive role in the
pursuit of this goal with clarifications and objective, continuous and
critical reports on the progress of the updating of the Economic Model so
that with profound and shrewd articles and reports written in terms
accessible to all they can help building in our country a culture about
In this area of work it is also necessary to definitely banish the habit
of describing the national reality in pretentious high-flown language or
with excessive formality. Instead, written materials and television and
radio programs should be produced that catch the attention of the audience
with their content and style while encouraging public debate. But this
demands from our journalists to increase their knowledge and become better
professionals even if most of the time, despite the agreements adopted by
the Party on the information policy, they cannot access the information
timely nor contact the cadres and experts involved with the issues in
question. The combination of these elements explains the rather common
dissemination of boring, improvised or superficial reports.
Our media has an important contribution to make to the promotion of the
national culture and the revival of the civic values of our society.
Another crucial issue very closely related to the updating of the Economic
and Social Model of the country and that should help in its
materialization is the celebration of a National Party Conference. This
will reach conclusions on the modification of the Party working methods
and style with a view to ensure, for today and for the future, the
consistent application of article 5 of the Constitution of the Republic
setting forth that the Party is the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation
and the top leading force of the society and the State.
Initially, we had planned to call that Conference for December 2011;
however, given the complications inherent to the last month of the year
and the advisability of having a prudent reserve of time to adjust
details, we are planning to hold that meeting at the end of January 2012.
Last December 18, I explained to the Parliament that due to the
inefficiency of the Government Organs in the discharge of their functions,
the Party had spent years involved in undertakings that were not its
responsibility, and compromised and limited its role.
We are convinced that the only thing that can make the Revolution and
Socialism fail in Cuba, risking the future of our nation, is our inability
to overcome the mistakes we have been making for more than five decades
and the new ones we could make.
The first thing we should do to correct a mistake is to consciously admit
it in its full dimension but the fact is that, although from the early
years of the Revolution Fidel made a clear distinction between the roles
of the Party and the State, we were inconsistent in the follow-up of his
instructions and simply improvised under the pressure of emergencies.
There can be no better example than what the leader of the Revolution said
as early as March 26, 1962, by radio and television, explaining to the
people the methods and functioning of the Organizaciones Revolucionarias
Integradas (ORI), which preceded the Party. He said: “…the Party leads, it
leads through the entire Party and it leads through the public
administration. An official must have authority. A minister must have
authority; a manager must have authority and discuss as much as necessary
with the Advising Technical Council (today, the Board of Directors),
discuss with the working masses, discuss with the Party cell, but it is
the manager who makes the decision, because it is his responsibility…”
This orientation dates back 49 years.
There are very well defined concepts that, in substance, remain completely
valid regardless of the time that has passed since Lenin formulated them,
almost 100 years ago, and they should be taken up again, bearing in mind
the characteristics and experiences of our country.
In 1973, during the preparations of the First Party Congress, it was
defined that the Party must lead and supervise with its own ways and
means, which are different from the ways, means and resources available to
the State for exercising its authority. The Party’s guidelines,
resolutions and provisions are not legally binding for all citizens; it is
the Party members who should abide by them as their conscience dictates
since there is no apparatus to force or coerce them into complying. This
is a major difference about the role and methods of the Party and the
The fortitude of the Party basically lies in its moral authority, its
influence on the masses and the trust of the people. The action of the
Party is based, above all, on the honesty of its motives and the justice
of its political line.
The fortitude of the State lies in its material authority, which consists
of the strength of the institutions responsible for demanding from
everyone to comply with the legal regulations it enacts.
The damage caused by the confusion of these two concepts is manifested,
firstly, in the deterioration of the Party’s political work and, secondly,
in the decline of the authority of the State and the Government as the
officials cease feeling responsible for their decisions.
The idea is to forever relieve the Party of activities completely alien to
its nature as a political organization; in short, to get rid of managing
activities and to have each one do what they are meant to do.
These misconceptions are closely linked to the flaws of the Party’s policy
with the cadres, which will also be analyzed by the abovementioned
National Conference. More than a few bitter lessons are the legacy of the
mistakes made in this area due to the lack of rigorous criteria and vision
which opened the way to the hasty promotion of inexperienced and immature
cadres, pretending otherwise through simulation and opportunism, attitudes
fostered by the wrong idea that an unspoken premise to occupy a leading
position was to be a member of the Party or the Young Communist League.
We must decidedly abandon such practice and leave it only for
responsibilities in the political organizations. Membership in a political
organization should not be a precondition for holding a leading position
with the State or the Government. What the cadres need are adequate
training and the willingness to recognize as their own the Party policy
The true leaders do simply not crop up in schools or from favoritism; they
are forged at the grassroots level, working in the profession they studied
in contact with the workers and rising gradually to leadership by setting
an example in terms of sacrifices and results.
In this regard, I think that the Party leadership, at all levels, should
be self-critical and adopt the necessary measures to prevent the
reemergence of such tendencies. This is also applicable to the lack of
systematic work and political will to secure the promotion of women, black
people and people of mixed race, and youths to decision-making positions
on the basis of their merits and personal qualifications.
It’s really embarrassing that we have not solved this problem in more than
half a century. This shall weight heavily on our consciences for many
years because we have simply been inconsistent with the countless
orientations given by Fidel from the early days of the revolutionary
victory and throughout the years, and also because the solution to this
disproportion was contained in the agreements adopted by the
transcendental First Party Congress and the four congresses that followed.
Still, we have failed to ensure its realization.
The solution of such issues that define the future will never again be
left to spontaneity but rather to foresight and to the unwavering
political intention of preserving and perfecting socialism in Cuba.
Although we kept on trying to promote young people to senior positions,
life proved that we did not always make the best choice. Today, we are
faced with the consequences of not having a reserve of well-trained
replacements with sufficient experience and maturity to undertake the new
and complex leadership responsibilities in the Party, the State and the
Government, a problem we should solve gradually, in the course of five
years, avoiding hasty actions and improvisations but starting as soon as
the Congress is over.
This will advance further with the strengthening of the democratic spirit
and collective work of the leading Party, State and Government organs as
we guarantee the systematic rejuvenation of all of the Party and
management positions, from the grassroots to the comrades with the highest
responsibilities, including the current President of the Council of State
and Ministers and the First Secretary of the Central Committee elected in
In this regard, we have reached the conclusion that it is advisable to
recommend limiting the time of service in high political and State
positions to a maximum of two five-year terms. This is possible and
necessary under the present circumstances, quite different from those
prevailing in the first decades of the Revolution that was not yet
consolidated when it had already become the target of continuous threats
The systematic strengthening of our institutions will be both a premise
and an indispensable guarantee to prevent this cadre renovation policy
from ever jeopardizing the continuation of Socialism in Cuba.
The first step we are taking in this direction is the substantial
reduction of the list of leading positions that required approval from the
municipal, provincial and national levels of the Party while empowering
senior leaders in the ministries and companies to appoint, replace and
apply disciplinary measures to a large part of their subordinated cadres
with the assistance of the corresponding Cadres Commissions, where the
Party is represented and has a voice but which are presided by the manager
who makes the final decision. The view of the Party organization is
appreciated but the single determining element is the manager, and we
should preserve and enhance their authority in harmony with the Party.
As to the internal functioning of the Party, which will also be examined
at the National Conference, we think it is worthwhile reflecting on the
self-defeating effects of old habits completely alien to the Party’s
vanguard role in our society. These include the superficiality and
excessive formality characterizing the political-ideological work; the use
of obsolete methods and terminology that ignore the instruction level of
the Party members; holding excessively long meetings and often during
working hours --which should be sacred, especially for the communists--
sometimes with inflexible agendas dictated by the higher level in
disregard of the context where the Party members develop their activities;
the frequent calls to formal commemorations where still more formal
speeches are made; and, the organization of voluntary works on holydays
without a real content or adequate coordination that cause spending and
have an upsetting and discouraging effect on our comrades.
These criteria also apply to emulation, a movement that lost through the
years its capacity to mobilize the workers’ collectives and became an
alternative mechanism for distribution of moral and material incentives
not always justified with concrete results, and in more than a few
occasions gave rise to fraudulent information.
Additionally, the Conference will analyze the Party’s relations with the
Young Communist League and the mass organizations to break with routine
and schematic approaches and to allow each of them to recover their raison
d’être under the present conditions.
To sum up, comrades, the National Conference will focus on enhancing the
role of the Party as the main advocate of the interests of the Cuban
The realization of this objective definitely requires a change of
mentality, avoiding formality and fanfare both in ideas and in action;
that is, to do away with the resistance to change based on empty dogma and
slogans and reach for the core of things as the children of La Colmenita
Theater Company brilliantly show in the playwright “Abracadabra.”
It’s the only way in which the Communist Party of Cuba can become, for all
times, the worthy heir to the authority and unlimited confidence of the
people in their Revolution and their only Commander in Chief, comrade
Fidel Castro Ruz, whose moral contribution and undisputable leadership do
not depend on any position and that as a soldier of ideas has not ceased
to fight and help with his enlightening Reflections and other actions the
revolutionary cause and the defense of Humanity from menacing dangers.
With respect to the international situation, we shall use a few minutes to
assess the predicament of the world at this point in time.
There is no end in sight to the global economic crisis affecting every
nation because it is a systemic crisis. The powerful have directed their
remedies to protecting the institutions and procedures that originated it
and to depositing the terrible burden of its consequences on the workers
of their own countries, and particularly of the underdeveloped countries.
Meanwhile, the climbing prices of foods and oil are pushing hundreds of
millions of people into destitute poverty.
The effects of climate change are already devastating and the lack of
political will of the industrial nations prevents the adoption of urgent
and indispensable action to avoid the catastrophe.
We live in a convulsive world where natural disasters follow one another
like the earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and Japan while the United States
wages wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan that have taken the lives
of more than one million civilians.
Popular movements in Arab nations are uprising against corrupted and
oppressive governments allied with the United States and the European
Union. The unfortunate conflict in Libya, a nation subjected to a brutal
military intervention by NATO, has given that organization a new pretext
to go beyond its originally defensive limits and expand worldwide the
threats and war actions undertaken to safeguard its geostrategic interests
and access to petroleum. Likewise, imperialism and the domestic
reactionary forces connive to destabilize other countries while Israel
oppresses and massacres the Palestinian people with complete impunity.
The United States and NATO include in their doctrines the aggressive
interventionism against the Third World countries aimed at plundering
their resources. They also impose to the United Nations a double standard
and use the media consortia in an increasingly coordinated way to conceal
or distort the events, as it befits the world power centers, in a
hypocritical mockery intended to deceive the public opinion.
Despite its complex economic situation, our country maintains its
cooperation with 101 Third World nations. In Haiti, after 12 years of
intensive work saving lives, the Cuban healthcare personnel have been
working with admirable generosity, since January 2010, alongside
collaborators from other countries facing the situation created by the
earthquake and the cholera epidemic that ensued.
To the Bolivarian Revolution, and to comrade Hugo Chávez Frías, we express
our resolute solidarity and commitment, conscious of the significance of
the process undertaken by the fraternal Venezuelan people for Our America,
in the Bicentennial of its Independence.
We also share the hopes of the transformation movements in various Latin
American countries, headed by prestigious leaders who represent the
interests of the oppressed majorities.
We shall continue helping the integrationist processes of the Bolivarian
Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the South Union (UNASUR)
and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CLACS) currently
involved in arrangements for the celebration of its foundational summit on
July this year, in Caracas. The establishment of this entity was the most
extraordinary institutional event in our hemisphere during the past
century, since for the first time all of the countries south of the Rio
Bravo were meeting on our own.
We are encouraged by this increasingly united and independent Latin
America and the Caribbean, whose solidarity we appreciate.
We shall continue advocating International Law and supporting the
principle of sovereign equality among the States as well as the right of
the peoples to self-determination. We reject the use of force and
aggression, the wars of conquest, the plundering of the natural resources
and the exploitation of man.
We condemn every form of terrorism, particularly State terrorism. We shall
defend peace and development for all peoples and fight for the future of
The US Administration has not changed its traditional policy aimed at
discrediting and ousting the Revolution. On the contrary, it has continued
to fund projects designed to directly promote subversion, foster
destabilization and interfere in our domestic affairs. The current
administration has taken some positive but extremely limited actions.
The US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba remains in
force and intensifies under the current administration, particularly with
respect to financial transactions. It ignores the almost unanimous
condemnation of the blockade by the international community that for 19
consecutive years has advocated its removal.
Although apparently, as evidenced in the recent visit to the Palacio de La
Moneda in Santiago de Chile, the United States leaders do not like to
remember history when dealing with the present and the future, it is
worthwhile indicating that the Cuba blockade is not something of the past.
Therefore, it is our obligation to recall the content of a secret
memorandum, declassified in 1991, where Deputy Undersecretary of State for
Inter American Affairs Lester D. Mallory wrote on April 6, 1960: “Most
Cubans support Castro…There is no effective political opposition (…) The
only possible way to make the government lose domestic support is by
provoking disappointment and discouragement through economic
dissatisfaction and hardships (…) Every possible means should be
immediately used to weaken the economic life (…) denying Cuba funds and
supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with the objective of
provoking hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the government.”
Mark the date of the memorandum: April 6, 1960, almost an exact year to
the day of the Playa Girón invasion.
This memorandum was not an initiative of that official. It was part of the
policy aimed at overthrowing the Revolution, like the “Covert Action
Program against the Castro Regime,” approved by President Eisenhower on
March 17, 1960, using all the available means, from the creation of a
unified opposition, psychological warfare and covert intelligence
operations to the training in third countries of paramilitary forces with
the capacity to invade the Island.
The United States fostered terrorism in the cities, and that same year,
before the Playa Girón attack, promoted the establishment of
counterrevolutionary armed-gangs, supplied by air and sea, that robbed and
murdered peasants, workers and young teachers, until they were finally
annihilated in 1965.
In Cuba, we will never forget the 3,478 dead and 2,099 incapacitated by
the policy of State terrorism.
Half a century of hardships and suffering have gone by in which our people
have put up a resistance and defended their Revolution, unwilling to
surrender or to besmirch the memory of the fallen in the past 150 years,
from the onset of our struggles for independence.
The US government has not ceased to give sanctuary and to protect
notorious terrorists while extending the suffering and unfair
incarceration of the heroic Cuban Five antiterrorist fighters.
Its Cuba policy lacks credibility and moral basis. In order to justify it,
baseless pretexts are used, which grow obsolete and then change depending
on Washington’s interests.
The US government should not have doubts that the Cuban Revolution will be
stronger after this Congress. If they want to cling on to their policy of
hostility, blockade and subversion we are prepared to continue to face it.
We reiterate our willingness to engage in a dialogue and to take on the
challenge of having normal relations with the United States as well as to
coexist in a civilized manner, our differences notwithstanding, on the
basis of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs.
At the same time, we will permanently give a priority to defense,
following Fidel’s instructions as expressed in his Central Report to the
First Congress, when he said: “While imperialism exists, the Party, the
State and the people will pay utmost attention to defense. The
revolutionary guard will never be careless. History teaches with too much
eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive the
In the present scenario and predictable future, the strategic conception
of “the Popular War” remains absolutely valid, thus it is constantly
enriched and improved. Its commanding and leadership system has been
reinforced and its capacity to react to various exceptional situations has
The defensive capacity of the country has reached a higher dimension, both
quantitatively and qualitatively. Using our own available resources, we
have improved the technical condition and maintenance as well as the
preservation of the armament and carried on the production effort and
especially the modernization of the military technology taking into
account its prohibitive world market prices. In this area, it is fair to
recognize the contribution of scores of military and civilian
institutions, proof of the enormous scientific, technological and
productive potential created by the Revolution.
The degree of preparation of the national territory as the theater of
military operations has been significantly boosted; the fundamental
armament is protected, the same as a substantial part of the troops, the
commanding organs and the people.
A communication infrastructure has been established to ensure the steady
functioning of the commanding posts at all levels. All of the material
reserves have been raised with better distribution and protection.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces, or put another way, the people in uniform
shall continue to constantly improve and preserve the authority and
prestige earned with their discipline and order in the defense of the
people and of Socialism.
We shall now deal with another no less significant issue of our times.
The Party must be convinced that beyond material needs and cultural
interests our people hold a diversity of concepts and ideas about their
own spiritual necessities.
Our National Hero José Martí, a man who synthesized that convergence of
spirituality and revolutionary sentiments, wrote many pages about this
Fidel addressed this topic quite early, in 1954, when still in jail he
evoked Renato Guitart, one of the martyrs of the Moncada:“Physical life is
ephemeral; it inexorably passes; the same as many and many generations of
men have passed, as our own lives will shortly pass. This truth should
teach every human being that the immortal values of the spirit stand above
them. What is the meaning of life without the spirit? What is life then?
How can death take those that understand this and still generously
sacrifice their lives to good and justice!”
These values have always been present in his ideas, and so he insisted on
them in 1971, at a meeting with catholic priests in Santiago de Chile: “I
tell you that there are ten thousand times more coincidences of
Christianity with Communism than there might be with Capitalism.”
And, he returned to this idea as he addressed the members of the Christian
churches in Jamaica in 1977. He said: “We must work together so that when
the political idea succeeds the religious idea is not separate and does
not appear as the enemy of changes. There are no contradictions between
the purposes of religion and the purposes of socialism.”
The unity of the revolutionary doctrine and ideas with regards to faith
and its followers is rooted in the basis of the nation, which in asserting
its secular nature promoted as an unwavering principle the unity of the
spirituality with the Homeland bequeathed by Father Felix Varela and the
teachings of Luz y Caballero, who categorically said: “I would chose to
see the fall of not only the institutions created by man –kings and
emperors—but even the stars from the firmament rather than see falling
from the human breast the sentiment of justice; that sun of the moral
In 1991, the 4th Party Congress agreed to modify the interpretation of the
statutes that limited the admission to our organization of revolutionaries
with religious beliefs.
The justice of this decision has been confirmed by the role of leaders and
representatives of various religious institutions in the different facets
of the national life, including the struggle for the return to our
Homeland of the child Elián, in which the Cuba Council of Churches played
a particularly outstanding role.
However, it is necessary to continue eradicating any prejudice that
prevents bringing all Cubans together, like brothers and sisters, in
virtue and in the defense of our Revolution, be them believers or not,
members of Christian churches; including the Catholic Church, the Russian
and Greek Orthodox Churches, the evangelicals and protestant churches; the
same as the Cuban religions originated in Africa, the Spiritualist,
Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist communities, and fraternal associations,
among others. The Revolution has had gestures of appreciation and concord
with each of them.
The unforgettable Cintio Vitier, that great poet and writer, who was a
deputy to our National Assembly, used the force of his pen and of his
Christian and deeply revolutionary ethic, so profoundly rooted in Martí’s,
to leave us warnings for the present and the future that we should always
Cintio wrote: “What is in danger, we know it, is the nation itself. The
nation is by now inseparable from the Revolution that has been a part of
it since October 10, 1868, and it has no other alternative: it is either
independent or it is no more.
“If the Revolution were defeated, we would fall in the historic vacuum
that the enemy wants for us and prepares for us, and that even the most
basic people perceive as an abyss.
“It is possible to arrive at defeat, we know, through the intervention of
the blockade, of internal decay, and the temptations imposed by the new
hegemonic situation in the world.”
After stating that “We are at the most challenging time of our history,”
he admonished: “Forced to fight the irrationality of the world to which it
fatally belongs; always threatened by the sequels of dark age-old blights;
implacably harassed by the most powerful nation on Earth; and also a
victim of imported or indigenous blunders that history shows have never
gone unpunished, our small island constricts and dilates, systole and
diastole, as a glimmering of hope to itself and to others.”
Now, we should address the recently concluded process of releasing
counterrevolutionary prisoners, those that in challenging and distressing
times for our Homeland have conspired against it at the service of a
By sovereign decision of our Government, they were released before fully
serving their sentences. We could have done it directly and take credit
for a decision that we made conscious of the fortitude of the Revolution.
However, we did it in the framework of a dialogue based on mutual respect,
loyalty and transparency with the senior leadership of the Catholic
Church, which contributed with its humanitarian labors to the completion
of this action in harmony; in any case, the laurels correspond to that
The representatives of the Catholic Church expressed their viewpoints, not
always coincidental with ours, but certainly constructive. This is at
least our perception after lengthy talks with Cardinal Jaime Ortega and
the Chairman of the Episcopalian Conference Monsignor Dionisio García.
With this action, we have favored the consolidation of the most precious
legacy of our history and the revolutionary process: the unity of our
In the same token, we should mention the contribution of the former
minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Miguel Angel
Moratinos, who facilitated the humanitarian efforts of the Church so that
those who wished to travel abroad or accepted the idea could do so with
their families. Others decided to remain in Cuba.
We have patiently endured the implacable smear campaigns on human rights,
coordinated from the United States and some countries of the European
Union that demand from us no less than unconditional surrender and the
immediate dismantling of our socialist regime while encouraging, orienting
and assisting the domestic mercenaries to break the law.
In this regard, it is necessary to make clear that we will never deny our
people the right to defend their Revolution. The defense of the
independence, of the conquests of Socialism and of our streets and plazas
will still be the first duty of every Cuban patriot.
Days and years of intensive work and great responsibilities lie before us
to preserve and develop, on solid and sustainable basis, the independent
and socialist future of our Homeland.
So far, the Central Report to the 6th Party Congress
Thank you, very much.