14ymedio, Havana, 19 April 2016 — The 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba has confirmed the suspicions of the opposition. Despite the changes in the socio-political context of the island, the Party is not open to the possibility a multi-party political system, nor will there be new “forms of privatization” or “shock therapies” for the economy, as announced by President Raul Castro. But the disappointment transcends the ranks of the opposition and comes from their own membership. Some militants have opened friendly fire against the Party leadership and used their space on the web to express their opposition to the stagnation of the elites.
“The documents that will be put to the consideration and approval of the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (…) will not be discussed with the membership at the grassroots,” reflected Francisco Rodriguez Cruz, known as “Paquito el de Cuba” and author of the blog of the same name. Rodriguez Cruz published an article before the Party Congress titled, “1,000 People Decide the Fate of the Nation?” “As a communist militant I think that is not enough,” he wrote.
Paquito el de Cuba considers appropriate mechanisms such as regional meetings with leaders of various sectors of society, evaluation assemblies and municipal elections, but considers them insufficient.
“Undoubtedly, these are valid ways. But pale (…) now that these decisions are already signed. I repeat in public, I believe I have the right (…) The changes underway and to come for Cuban society need much more discussion,” he claimed.
Yohan Gonzalez, from the official blog “From My Island,” begins a post titled “The Militant Who Wanted To Be,” by explaining how it was his dream as a young person to belong to the PCC. “I believe that only through membership could I be a good revolutionary and good Cuban,” he recalls. Gonzalez, who confesses he is a socialist and not a communist, returned his membership card to the Union of Young Communists (UJC) and abandoned his aspiration, because he says he would have liked to be a half-militant – “a person committed but realistic, disciplined but critical” – like Paquito el de Cuba, to whom he refers directly.
“The Congress (…) opens having failed to push the popular debate of its documents. I’m sure there are half-militants among the delegates, helpful people, with a capacity to represent. But the future of the country can not be in the hands of a few,” he says.
González regrets the lack of transparency and that Cubans can not access the documents the delegates have, that they don’t address social issues such as emigration, LGBTI rights or racism, and that there are no younger people among the Party elite. “I did not convert myself into this militant, but I have no regrets. Today I am more revolutionary than I wanted to be and more Cuban. I am an equal of that half-militant who will go along with everything that passes in the Congress but in the end will still have the sensation they he could have done much more,” he concludes.
“The time when the fate of Cuba it could be decided by a handful of men is over.” Thus begins the text entitled “The National Plan” by Harold Cardenas Lema, blogger on La Joven Cuba (Young Cuba).
The author gives a good overview of the collective intelligence of the Cuban people, who he considers the best educated in the region, to reproach the not taking into account of this human capital.
“Our country has a thousand and one problems to resolve, some products of the blockade and others very much our own,” he says, before offering a review of the reasons why the citizenry has given “a blank check to the country’s leadership.” Cardenas shows that the bad governments prior to 1959 and the popularity of the Revolution led to a faith in the leadership of the PCC that has no foundation.
“It happens that this consensus was formed more than half a century ago, with a generation that knew capitalism, who experienced the Agrarian Reform Law, the Literacy Campaign. My generation knows only the Special Period, the vicissitudes and the breakdown of values. Can the same consensus work with us? I think not,” he says.
Nevertheless, the blogger proposes an exercise of understanding with the elites with those who think they have a plan. However, his belief that politicians live in a bubble that separates them from reality leads him to doubt the current capacity of the Party to solve Cubans’ problems.
“By now we should have learned to be inclusive and not exclusive when the time comes for collective construction. (…) This nation can temporarily engage in politics with the people or against the people, but permanently without the people is not possible,” he says.