14ymedio, Reinaldo Escobar, 17 April 2016 — Among the many expectations raised by the Seventh Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) was the possibility that the expected generational change would be announced there. The prospect that young cadres would introduce bold changes and accelerate the timid reforms initiated with the departure of Fidel Castro from power, fed by the expectations among Cubanologists of different viewpoints.
Perhaps that is why, when the general-president proposed that the maximum age for joining the PCC Central Committee would be 60 and to hold senior posts one would have to be under 70, many had the momentary impression that the rule would begin to be applied at this Party Congress. Only a more sedate reading, stripped of all irrational optimism, was able to untangle the ambiguity of his words.
Raul Castro, First Secretary of the PCC, acknowledged that “the next five years, for obvious reasons, will be decisive.” Hence, the need “to introduce additional limits on the higher organs of the Party.” However, he declared that this would be a “process of transition that should be undertaken and concluded with the celebration the next Congress. Leaving for the future, “a five year transition so as not to rush things.” A phrase that reinforces Castro’s oft repeated premise of acting “without haste but without pause.”
The “additional limits” on age to be appointed to “the higher organs” had already been introduced, although not disclosed, at the first PCC Conference in January of 2012, when the concept of age was added to those to be taken into consideration at the time of filling leadership positions.
To Raul Castro it seems that having delayed four years and four months in defining the numbers that would mark the age limits would have been “not rushing things.” Although it is probable that his real concern has been that the Central Committee elected at the current 7th Congress would naturally dispense with the so-called “historic generation of the Revolution.”
The only obvious reason for not passing the baton in this Congress is reduced to an unhealthy addiction to power, especially to its obscene attributes of privileges and powers.
Like the spoiled child who wants his turn with a toy to last forever, the first secretary intends to remain in office until 19 April 2021, when he’ll be just 45 days short of officially becoming a nonagenarian.
By that time, should he survive, what would be left of the instrument of his amusement could be an useless wreck, and we’re not talking about the Party but about the country: a toy broken beyond fixing through the attempts to make it work capriciously. The blame for its destruction will then fall on those who inherit it.