Informacion economica sobre Cuba

Cuba’s aging leaders to remain in power years longer
April 26
By Michael Weissenstein?|?AP April 20 at 12:13 AM

HAVANA — The former guerrilla fighters who founded Cuba’s single-party
government will hold power for years to come after a twice-a-decade
Communist Party congress kept President Raul Castro and his hardline
deputy in the top leadership positions.

Fidel Castro, who held power for nearly five decades before ill health
led him to make way for his brother, delivered a valedictory speech to
the congress Tuesday and called on it to fight for his communist ideals
despite the fact that he is nearing the end of his life.

“I’ll be 90 years old soon,” Castro said in his most extensive public
appearance in years. “Soon I’ll be like all the others. The time will
come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban Communists will remain as
proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity,
they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need,
and we need to fight without a truce to obtain them.”

Raul Castro, 84, said he would remain the party’s first secretary and
Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, 85, would hold the post of second secretary
for at least part of a second five-year term.

Castro currently is both president and party first secretary. The
decision means he could hold a Communist Party position at least as
powerful as the presidency even after he is presumably replaced by a
younger president in 2018. Castro indicated that he and Machado may also
step down before the next congress in 2021, saying this year’s session
was the last to be led by Cuba’s revolutionary generation.

Machado Ventura, who fought alongside the Castro brothers to overthrow
dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, is known as an enforcer of Communist
Party orthodoxy and voice against some of the biggest recent economic

Despite the ascension of five younger party officials, including three
women, to the party’s powerful 17-member Political Bureau, the day’s
events disappointed many Cubans who had been hoping for bigger changes
at the top of the single-party state.

“I would have liked younger people with fresh minds,” said Luis Lai, a
31-year-old printing-company worker. “The same party, but able to
articulate ideas of people of my generation. Older people should retire.”

Fifty-five years after Fidel Castro began installing a single-party
system and centrally planned economy, younger Cubans complain bitterly
about low state salaries of about $25 a month that leave them struggling
to afford food and other staple goods. Cuba’s creaky state-run media and
cultural institutions compete with flashy foreign programming shared
online and on memory drives passed hand-to-hand. Emigration to the
United States and other countries has soared to one of its highest
points since the revolution.

Limited openings to private enterprise have stalled, and the government
describes capitalism as a threat even as it appears unable to increase
productivity in Cuba’s inefficient, theft-plagued networks of state-run

The ideological gulf between government and people widened last month
when President Barack Obama became the first U.S. leader to visit Cuba
in nearly 90 years. He gave a widely praised speech live on state
television urging Cubans to forget the history of hostility between the
U.S. and Cuba and move toward a new era of normal diplomatic and
economic relations.

The Cuban government offered little unified response until the Communist
Party’s Seventh Party Congress began Saturday, and one high-ranking
official after another warned that the U.S. was still an enemy that
wants to take control of Cuba. They said Obama’s trip represented an
ideological “attack.”

Shortly after the congress ended, government-run television showed rare
images of 89-year-old Fidel Castro seated at the dais in Havana’s
Convention Palace, dressed in a plaid shirt and sweat top and speaking
to the crowd in a strong if occasionally trembling voice. State
television showed at least one delegate tearful with emotion, and the
crowd greeting the revolutionary leader with shouts of “Fidel!”

“This may be one of the last times I speak in this room,” Fidel Castro
said. “We must tell our brothers in Latin America and the world that the
Cuban people will be victorious.”

Source: Cuba’s aging leaders to remain in power years longer – The
Washington Post –

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