Dark suit but no tie, Raul Castro kicked off the 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) in Havana on April 16, with accentuation on economic issues and personnel arrangement.
(Soundbite) Raul Castro, PCC First Secretary and Cuban President
“The neo-liberal formulas and internal voices in the country that demand privatization of state property and social services like health, education and social security will never be applied in Cuba’s socialism.”
Raul stressed that social justice will be upheld, while the island country continues its process of economic reforms to update its socialist system.
He said that many economic and social changes have taken place since the last congress five years ago and a lot more remains to be done in the future under new leadership.
(Soundbite) Raul Castro, Party Secretary General
“For me, as it is not a secret, in 2018 my second term as President of the Council of State and Ministers will come to an end. I will hand over that responsibility to whoever is elected.”
Meanwhile, Raul clarified the dual monetary system as a main obstacle to more economic reforms, emphasized the importance of over half a million workers in the private sector, and called for constitutional reforms to limit terms of high-ranking officials.