- Julio M. Shiling
The Eighth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (CCP) opened with expected big noise on Friday. Dictator Raúl Castro formally announced that he would no longer be acting as the first secretary-general of the CCP, arguably the most powerful political position within the Marxist-Leninist regime. Pronouncements such as this tend to build high expectations among political pundits, especially novice Cuba watchers who may not command a comprehensive scope on Castro-Communism’s history and empirical experience. Will this be just another CCP congress that comes along every five years, or can this reunion of Cuba’s ruling and only legal party lead to something worthwhile for the Cuban people?
Paradoxically, this CCP event that marks the first time that a Castro last name will not visibly appear in the top echelon of the party’s power posts, a supposed novelty after a consistent 62-year Castro dynastic rule, is labeled as the “Congress of Continuity”. An apparent oxymoron, yet two important factors dilute the notion that this is a contradiction. This quinquennial congress of Cuban communism’s power structure will serve the exclusive purpose of consolidating the hardline rule within the ranks of power, while it emits to the world’s democracies the false aura of plausible liberalization.Continue Reading …Will Raúl Castro’s Departure Bring Any Meaningful Change to Cuba?