Bohemia editorial, March 31, 2011
Translation: Marce Cameron
Translation: Marce Cameron
With its focus on economic policy, the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party will mark a new milestone in the history of the nation and of the Revolution that in January 1959 initiated profound changes in all spheres "for the humble and by the humble", as Fidel said in 1961, and "with all and for the good of all", as Jose Marti proclaimed on the eve of the necessary war [for independence from Spain].
Just as we celebrate half a century since the Bay of Pigs victory, which was also the first great defeat of Yankee imperialism in the Americas, this Congress will have to approve the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution, which will be ratified with realism and fidelity to the principles sown and defended up to now — the decision of the Cuban people, led by its political vanguard, to continue building our socialism.
Cuban socialism was not installed by the victorious divisions of the Red Army, as the Commander in Chief [Fidel Castro] said on December 7, 1989 before the graves of Antonio Maceo and Panchito Gomez Toro in the farewell service for the internationalist volunteers who lost their lives in honourable missions, both military and civilian: "In Cuba, socialism was forged by Cubans".
In this way we have sustained it until today, it should be added, before reiterating that this is how it will continue to be, since for a small country such as ours — close neighbour of the powerful empire that is always determined to annexe us — socialism is not only dignity and social justice but the guarantor of independence and sovereignty, of the existence and the continuity of the nation.
This socialism, however, demands not only reaffirmation of intention and will demonstrated in great sacrifices; it must make itself truly sustainable in the global conditions of all manner of crises, of economic insecurity, wars and many other threats arising from the exploitative capitalist social order in times of rapid technological and scientific development and, simultaneously, a crisis on the moral and ethical plane. We must ensure the viability of this socialism in a country with scarce material resources that is blockaded and attacked.
This sustainability translates not into the pursuit of growth, abundance and irrational and unequal consumerism — as capitalism tries to distort the expression of human progress — but in the search for a genuine solution to the economic problems, in material progress as the basis for socialist policies. We must always be clear on this point so as not to confuse nor deviate from our course.
The guardian of this process of economic advance, as in other goals, always for the common good, is the people together with the Communist Party as its political vanguard, but also the Union of Young Communists, the mass student and social organisations and People's Power, all the institutions created by the Revolution since its inception; dignified, patriotic Cubans that are the majority.
The Sixth Party Congress will not only be that which brings together a thousand delegates elected by the base. It was also what we did prior to this gathering throughout the country, discussing the Draft Guidelines in an exemplary exercise of democracy. More than 70% of the population participated in these discussions in more than 127,000 meetings, during which more than 2.3 million interventions were made that enriched and deepened the ideas being debated.
This is how we create our socialism in Cuba. A forge that today necessitates, moreover, that the updating of the economic model be carried through to completion, involving a struggle against very dangerous ills such as bureaucracy and corruption that are alien to and incompatible with the essence of our ideal of a more just society.
After the Congress will come the most complex, arduous and unavoidable task given the great impetus we now need and that we have decided to give ourselves. We must achieve the transformations we have proposed in mentalities and in a more systematic approach. An energetic — and satisfying, if we do it properly — effort to put into practice everything agreed to and mandated by the Sixth Party Congress and the national consensus.
A great new battle that once again, as 50 years ago at the Bay of Pigs, will end in a victory for socialism.