Only 5.5% of Communist Party Congress Delegates Under Age 35 / EFE, 14ymedio

The Palace of Conventions during the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. (EFE)
The Palace of Conventions during the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 14 April 2016 — The average age of the thousand delegates who will participate from 16 to 19 April in the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) is 48 years, and only 5.5% are under 35, according to data released Thursday by the newspaper Granma.

The oldest delegate, Jose Ramon Fernandez, is 92, and is currently president of Cuba’s Olympic Committee and one of the founders of the PCC. The youngest participant, Idaliena Diaz, age 27, is a deputy to the National Assembly and is president of a People’s Council in the eastern province of Guantanamo.

“It is natural that those attending events of this nature are, as a rule, compañeros who have accumulated considerable experience and have a long history in the Party ranks,” said Granma, the official organ of the PCC, which added that the Party Congress will be “a reflection of the [Party] militancy and of Cuban society as a whole.”

By gender, some 43% of the delegates are women, 2.5% more than at the previous congress held in 2011.

The representation of blacks and mixed race delegates will also increase, with 36% of the delegates, 4.5% more than five years ago.

Cuban communists will open their Seventh Congress on April 16 and end it on April 19, when the Central Committee elected the previous day will be announced, along with the members of the Politburo and the first and second Party secretaries.

At the previous PCC Congress, held five years ago, the president of Cuba, Raul Castro (now 84), was named first secretary of the organization, replacing his brother Fidel, who retired from power in 2006. At the same time Jose Ramon Machado Ventura (now 85) was designated second secretary.

On that occasion, the Cuban communists approved the plan of economic reforms under President Raul Castro.