Friday, April 15, 2016

Eight Questions About the Party Congress
Q & A about the important event set to take place April 16-19 in Havana

National news staff |
April 14, 2016 10:04:31

1. The Congress will take place April 16-19 in Havana’s Convention Center. What is scheduled for the sessions? Will everything occur in the plenary?

The opening of the Congress is scheduled for the 16th, when the Central Report will be presented, in a plenary session. Subsequently, delegates will work in commissions, that afternoon and on the 17th. The plenary will again meet on the 18th to discuss reports from the commissions. That afternoon will be devoted to the introduction, analysis and vote on the proposed Party Central Committee candidature. On the 19th, also in plenary session, the Central Committee elected will be announced, along with Political Bureau members, as well as the First and Second Party Secretaries. And the closing session of the Congress will be held.

2. How many commissions are there? What issues will each one discuss?

There will be four commissions. The first will discuss the conceptualization of Cuba’s socio-economic model. The second will address the development plan for the upcoming period through 2030, the nation’s vision, priorities and strategic sectors. The third will evaluate the implementation of the Guidelines approved by the 6th Congress and their updating for the next five years. The fourth commission will analyze progress made toward meeting the objectives agreed upon by the First Party Conference.

3. How many invitees will attend? How were they selected?

There will be 280 invitees. The basic criteria for their selection, beyond the personal recognition which the invitation implies, was the contribution they can make given their knowledge and experience in different areas which will be addressed by the Congress, both in the economic arena, as well as the social and ideological.

Among the invitees are Party cadres, deputies to the National Assembly, representatives from Central State Administration bodies, our civil society, combatants, researchers from scientific centers, university professors, intellectuals, and press editors, among others.

4. It has been said that the delegates as a whole represent the Party’s membership, and that their average age is 48. Who are the eldest and the youngest delegates?

The eldest delegate in José Ramón Fernández, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, a founder of the Party and combatant, with an outstanding, lifelong record. He is 92 years of age. The youngest delegate is Idaliena Díaz Casamayor, from Guantanamo, president of a People’s Council, and a deputy to the National Assembly. She is 27.

5. Among the 1,000 delegates, there are 55 under the age of 35, in other words, 5.5%. Isn’t that a small percentage?

It’s natural that compañeros with considerable experience, and long careers in the Party’s ranks, be elected to attend an event of this nature. The fact that there are 55 young delegates is a demonstration of how much each one of them has been able to contribute personally, despite their youth, but, above all their presence represents recognition of a generation which is giving continuity to the work of their grandparents and parents.

There are many other youth who could have been elected as delegates, just as there are many other compañeros who founded the Party; participated in the literacy campaign; fought in the underground, the Sierra, Girón, the Escambray, and Angola; who cut sugar cane in critical people’s harvests; built communities, hospitals, schools, factories…They are all represented at the Congress, along with the youngest, whose Moncada and Granma have been others.

6. There are thousands of Cubans offering their solidarity in other countries. Were any of the Party members collaborating abroad selected as delegates or invitees?

Yes, there are 14 who are members of Party units in our international solidarity missions, from five countries: Venezuela, Brazil, Haiti, Bolivia and Ecuador.

7. Are women adequately represented at this Congress? What about Black and mixed race Cubans?

Women constitute 43% of the delegates, while 36% are Black or of mixed race.

In both cases, these figures match their composition within the Party membership. The percentages are 2.5 and 4.5% greater, respectively, than those from the 6th Congress.

8. Are all economic and social sectors of society represented adequately?

The Congress is a reflection of the membership and Cuban society as a whole. Of course there are a significant number of Party cadre, from the national, municipal and district levels, as well as leaders of grassroots organizations (Party units and committees). There are workers, farmers, technicians, state and enterprise leaders, researchers, economists, professors and teachers, healthcare workers, combatants from the FAR and Minit, intellectuals and artists, jurists, journalists … As evidence of the transformations advanced by the 6th Congress, some delegates work in the non-state sector of the economy. This is the Party of the Cuban nation, not a part of it.

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