Cuba to carry out economic reforms while keeping socialism
English.news.cn 2011-03-26 10:58:28
HAVANA, March 25 (Xinhua) — The upcoming congress of the Cuban
Communist Party in April will introduce several economic reforms while
the country retains socialism, Cuban leader Raul Castro said Friday.
Castro said Cuba needs to "correct some mistakes committed in the past
five decades of socialism." But he made it clear that Cuba "will not
return to capitalism and neo-colonialism" and the updated model for Cuba
will primarily be based on a planned economy rather than a market economy."
The new economic policy will conform to the principle that only
socialism can overcome the difficulties and preserve the conquests of
the Revolution," Castro said.
"The future of the nation is at stake," he said, adding that it is
necessary to defend the "permanent discrepancy of the ideas because
that's where the best solutions come from."
Meanwhile, Homero Acosta, secretary of the Cuban State Council, said the
penal system also needs to be updated along with the economic model.
"The new economic changes will impact every aspect of social life, so it
also requires us to modify the criminal law according to the new
circumstances," said Acosta.
"It is possible that the typical imprisonment will be replaced by other
sanctions like freedom limitation, or correctional labor without
confinement, for penalties of up to five years in prison," he said.
Justice Minister Maria Esther Reus said the country needs an updated
policy and a legislative development according to the new national reality.
The draft document to be discussed at the party congress in April
includes a wide range of topics such as discharging half a million
people from over-employed state companies, eliminating excessive social
benefits, building a flexible housing market, opening private businesses
and implementing a new tax system.
Earlier this week, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro talked about the
party structure for the first time since handing over power to his
brother Raul in 2006, saying the Cuba leader should at the same time be
the first secretary of the party.