The Meteoric Rise Of Susely Morfa González / 14ymedio

Susely Morfa Gonzalez talking to Univision television network. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 28 December 2016 — The political career of the psychologist Susely Morfa González has been meteoric. This Tuesday she was chosen to be a deputy in Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power and a member of the Council of State, barely two years after she burst on the public scene.

Morfa was born in 1982 in Cienfuegos and as a teenager was the president of the Federation of Middle School Students in the town of Rodas. She also held various positions within the Young Communists Union (UJC), and before turning 30 was the first secretary of that organization in her native province.

She has a degree in psychology, and her entire adult life has played the role of political cadre. Several sources in the Ministry of Public Health consulted by 14ymedio say that she has never practiced her profession at any hospital in the country.

She was named at the last annual session of the Parliament to fill one of the vacancies in the legislative body, and only in this way, as established by law, was she able to become a part of the government’s highest body.

“It’s not a good sign, because it means the most hard-line are winning,” said a retired academic who preferred anonymity. However, analyst Julio Aleaga, author of a study on Cuban politics, considers it difficult to know Morfa’s true ideological positions. To catalog her as more hard line or more reformist is risky, he points out.

Her new position could respond to the Government’s desire to place “women, young people and afro-descendants” in the top positions to fill gender, age and race quotas, says Aleaga, but when it comes to decision-making, “they behave like nondescript people,” without real power.

Morfa shot to fame for her combative performance at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, in April 2015, when she starred in several acts of repudiation and described the activists and exiles who participated in a parallel event as members of Cuba’s civil society as “lackeys, mercenaries, self-funded, underpaid by imperialism.”

During an extraordinary meeting of the UJC in the middle of this year, Morfa was named first secretary of the organization, replacing Yuniask Crespo Baquero.

Last September, she affirmed that “the non-state sector can not be stigmatized” within the island’s economy, although she clarified that entrepreneurs have to remain “within the socialist system.”

At the VII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), last April, the psychologist was elected a member of the Central Committee of the only political organization allowed in the country. During the conclave she was in charge of proposing the candidacy of the ruler Raúl Castro as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party.