This brief report highlights the importance of Cuba's intellectual and artistic vanguard in the process of debates and changes aimed at renewing Cuba's socialist project. It also gives some idea of the scale of the national debate on the Draft Economic and Social Policy Guidelines.
In the final paragraph there is a reference to Fidel's "Words to the Intellectuals", a 1961 speech in which he said that the Revolution's cultural policy would be, essentially,"within the Revolution, everything; against the Revolution, nothing". This has been interpreted in various ways during the past five decades. Today, Cuba's revolutionary artists and intellectuals enjoy more freedom of expression than ever before.
Massive debate on Guidelines contributes enormous wealth of arguments
Said Esteban Lazo in his address to the National Council of UNEAC. Stressed the importance of intellectual thought and artistic creation in the process of updating Cuba's economic model.
By Pedro de la Hoz
Granma, January 13, 2010
Translation: Marce Cameron
The process of discussion of the Economic and Social Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution is contributing to an enormous wealth of arguments for the necessary and urgent updating of the Cuban socialist model, commented Esteban Lazo, member of the [Communist Party] Political Bureau, during his intervention in the meeting of the National Council of the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (UNEAC) this Wednesday in the capital.
After 55,000 meetings to debate the Guidelines in Party base committees and the Union of Young Communists, workplaces, centres of education and in neighbourhoods — around one-third of the meetings scheduled in the program of debates — the proposals, suggestions, opinions and considerations constitute a valuable contribution to the content of the Guidelines and express, in their breadth and diversity, the popular will to defend and renew the socialist experience that will be reflected in the 6th [Communist Party] Congress [in April].
It's very difficult to carry out the transformations that we propose if we don't count on the consensus of everyone, on the opinion of everyone, Lazo stressed. The Revolution, affirmed Lazo, who is also a vice-president of the Council of State, needs your thinking, your understanding and your creativity because culture, today more than ever, is revolution.
The National Council of UNEAC analysed the challenges for culture in light of the new economic scenario and the international projection of Cuban art and literature in a session featuring the participation of Political Bureau members Ricardo Alarcon, President of the National Assembly of People's Power and Abel Prieto, Minister of Culture.
Margarita Ruiz, president of the National Heritage Council and Eusebio Leal, Havana city historian, highlighted the responsibility and commitment to conserve and manage the National Monuments. Introducing the session, Miguel Barnet, UNEAC president, recalled that in 2011 the organisation will celebrate half a century of existence and noted another essential half-century anniversary, that of Fidel's Words to the Intellectuals, cornerstone of the Revolution's cultural policy.