Sunday, January 8, 2012

Translation: PCC Conference document (2)

First National Conference of the Cuban Communist Party

Draft basic document

Translation: Marce Cameron (Part 2 of translation; Part 1 is here)


Below are the objectives that must be prioritised in Party activity with a view to resolving the fundamental problems and deficiencies of its work, together with others that flow from the new challenges faced by the Party.

Chapter 1: Functioning, methods and style of Party work

1. Promote the members of the Party committees at all levels playing a decisive role in the discussion and adoption of the most important decisions that are the Party’s responsibility. Ensure that they have prior knowledge of the issues and that they play an active role in the analysis carried out by the party body, and that they have the information to allow them to discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively.

2. Introduce the principle that the members of the Party committees at all levels must tender their resignation from the committee in question when they judge that the reasons for which they were elected no longer exist, without this being considered a reprehensible attitude or cause for disrepute.

3. Ensure that in the ordinary meetings of the Party bodies and the base committees, matters related to the implementation of and compliance with the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution, and the execution of the economic plan or the assigned budget, are addressed as a matter of priority and are dealt with systematically, and that the role of the Party itself in this regard is critically appraised.

4. Promote and require a better understanding and observance of the documents that regulate the party’s activity by its bodies, base committees and militants.

5. Provide more information to the militants, workers and the population about the analyses and decisions of Party bodies regarding the economic and social life of the provinces and the municipalities.

6. Evaluate, with a view to rationality, the reduction of the number of matters or topics referred to the various levels of the Party for discussion in meetings, as well the entire existing system of information and documentation from the Central Committee to the base.

7. Strengthen, in the Party structures, measures aimed at preventing and confronting instances of social misconduct, illegalities, corruption and other crimes.

8. Reduce the number of permanent commissions of Party bodies to what is strictly necessary. This does not exclude those that are established temporarily to deal with specific issues.

9. Improve the system for planning the work of Party bodies, their cadres and the base organisations, ensuring that it is adjusted to the characteristics, specific content and responsibilities of the various levels of leadership.

10. Comprehensively revise the supervision and advisory system used by the Central Committee and the provincial and municipal committees with regard to subordinate levels of leadership.

11. Confront the tendency to carry out supervision and follow-up of the tasks that are the Party’s responsibility though meetings. Encourage direct contact with those responsible and other workers at the coalface. 

12. Foster in the Party and other institutions an appropriate work environment that facilitates and promotes respect and mutual confidence as prerequisites for dialogue, debate and criticism, and ensure a work style that is ever-more participatory and democratic in terms of decision-making.

13. Encourage criticism and self-criticism, based on the principle that everyone in the Party has the right to criticise and nobody is above criticism, and eliminate the practice of accepting self-criticisms that are in reality attempts to justify the unjustifiable. Disciplinary measures should be in accordance with the concept expressed by Fidel that we should be neither tolerant nor implacable.

14. Demand that in the [public] institutions and within the Party itself, the complaints and denunciations of the population are given due and timely attention, and that the responses are furnished with the required swiftness and rigour.

15. Uphold the time-frame established in the Statutes for the convening of Party Congresses[1]. Their postponement due to the threat of war, natural disasters and other exceptional circumstances must be approved by the Central Committee Plenum and reported to the militants.

16. Hold Central Committee Plenums at least twice a year. Among key agenda items must be the analysis and implementation of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines for the Party and the Revolution, the fulfilment of the economic plan and the state budget in the corresponding period, matters relating to the Party itself, defence preparations and other topics of national and international interest.

17. Review the concepts and methods pertaining to leadership and to organisations at the base level, especially the work of the instructor.

18. Improve the organisation and content of the meetings of the executive bureaux of the municipal Party committees with the general secretaries of the base organisations.

19. Continue developing and improving the attention given by activists to political processes and other tasks, outside of work hours as a rule.

20. Consolidate the system of activists who attend to the militants in their residential areas, with a view to increasing their participation and influence in the neighbourhood, and enhance the role of the professional cadres in the guidance and oversight of this work.

21. Improve and streamline the Auxiliary Structure of the Central Committee and the intermediate leadership organisations, in accordance with the content of their work in the present and future conditions.

22. Strengthen the role of the Party committees in the workplaces and the attention they receive from the higher Party bodies, so that the workplace committees lead and oversee the cells[2] that are subordinate to them in a more comprehensive and effective manner, together with their other responsibilities. 

23. Ensure that the Party base organisations concentrate their efforts on the efficient fulfilment of local activities. To this end they should organise and develop their core political-ideological activities and be directly responsible for demanding the exemplary conduct of their militants, regardless of the office they may hold.

24. Require that the key problems that arise in the workplaces or communities are given immediate attention by the militants in these places, without them having to wait for directives or the intervention of higher Party bodies.

25. Ensure that the general secretary of the base organisation is the most suitable person for this post. Make use, where necessary, of the right of the municipal Party organisation to submit proposals in this regard.

26. Ensure that, as a rule, the militants carry out Party tasks in their respective Party cells, based on a rational assessment of their responsibilities and abilities.

27. Maintain accountability sessions for militants as means of evaluating, in a rational manner, their conduct in the labour, political and social spheres.

28. Improve the running of coordination meetings, called by the Party, that involve the administrative, trade union and UJC leaderships of the workplaces in order to join forces for the fulfilment of the plans or other activities of common interest.

29. Step up direct political attention by the Secretariat, the Auxiliary Structure of the Central Committee and the provincial Party committees, where applicable, to the Party base organisations of the Central State Administration Agencies and other institutions at the national and provincial levels, as well as those of the UJC leadership bodies and the leaderships of the mass and social organisations. The tasks related to the internal life of the Party will continue to be taken up by the municipal committees in which these base organisations are located.

30. Establish mixed cells (that include Party and UJC militants) in centres where there are few UJC militants or where it is considered useful in order to strengthen political and ideological work. The student sector is excluded.

31. Empower the executive bureau of the municipal committee to authorise a different frequency of ordinary meetings in regional cells, where necessary due to the nature of the localities in which they operate or the personal limitations of the militants.

32. Eliminate the practice of entrusting locality-based cells with tasks that are the responsibility of other organisations and institutions, as well as the tendency for the cells to assume these tasks on their own initiative.

33. Reaffirm that admission to the Party is voluntary and is based on the principles of exemplariness and always consulting with the masses, where the quality of this consultation is paramount in ensuring that it is recognised by the people.

34. Deactivate[3] militants who are obliged to join a locality-based Party cell but due to retirement or work, personal or family circumstances decline to do so.

35. Grant Party base organisations with seven or more militants the power to issue a caution as a disciplinary measure, without the need to seek ratification from the higher Party body.

36. Empower the municipal committee executive bureau to ratify expulsion from the Party in cases of proven betrayal of the country.

[Translation to be continued]
Translator's footnotes:

[1] According to the PCC Statues, national Congresses are supposed to be held at five year intervals. Since the founding Congress in 1975, a further five Congresses were held in 1980, 1986, 1991, 1997 and 2011.

[2] The nĂșcleos, cells, are the smallest units in the PCC’s hierarchical structure. Base committees in workplaces, study centres and neighbourhoods comprise numerous cells. The party is also organised at the municipal, provincial and national levels.

[3] Acco
rding to the PCC’s Regulations document (Introduction, p. 31), “deactivation” is a category of honourable termination of membership when a militant is judged to no longer possess the qualities that were the basis for their admission to the PCC and they have lost the “drive” to carry out the Revolution’s tasks.

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