The Challenge of Drawing Cuba

The collective, inclusive and participatory vision will ensure a more complete and accurate scope for the prosperous and sustainable society to which Cubans aspire.  This was the general consensus reached by participants to the Third Plenary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (UJC) after proposing major additions or modifications to the Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic  and Social Model for the  Socialist Development and the National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030

By: Several Authors


2016-06-13 | 13:39:48 EST
Third Plenary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (UJC)Third Plenary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (UJC) Photo: Roberto RuízZoom
Making the project of Cuba in the coming years is a challenging task. And new generations, who have to assume the continuity of the Revolution and Socialism, know this well . However, when this is done from a collective, inclusive, participatory vision, the projection is more complete and accurate, mainly if the goal is the search for a prosperous and sustainable society, like that programmed by the Communist Party of Cuba  (PCC) in its last congresses.

This has been demonstrated during the last day of the Third Plenary of the National Committee of the Young Communist League (UJC), where, the conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model for the Socialist Development and the National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030: Proposal  of Vision of the Nation, Axes and Strategic Sectors, have been discussed among other relevant issues.

Thus, the young political vanguard became the first of all Cuban organizations to submit for discussion, these two important proposals, which were presented, discussed and approved in principle at the 7th Congress  of the Communist Party, with a recommendation for  the widest and democratic consultation, which will begin  next week.

Before making the presentation of both documents, the official for the Central Committee of the PCC Julio Cesar García Rodríguez highlighted that what is done now is not new, as the country has had similar experiences, for example,  the debate of the Guidelines for the Economic and Social Policy of the Communist Party and the Revolution, which were approved in the 6th  Congress of the PCC and updated at its  7th Congress.

This consultation Is not as massive as that of the previous example. However, it’s also important, and it involves the members of the PCC, the UJC, representatives of mass organizations and large sectors of society, the leader said, and he noted that each proposal must be heard, even if it does not need a vote.

Each proposed modification, addition, deletion and doubt must be recorded in the minutes of the consultation for subsequent delivery to the Implementation Commission, which will work on the final draft of the documents, for approving them definitely at the Plenary of the Central Committee  of the PCC, as delegates approved in their  7th Congress.

Both documents have marked importance and are interrelated, the Conceptualization because it expresses, with a vision of future, the  economic and social model that will result from the process of updating,  and the draft for the National Development Plan, because it exposes the bases, whose fulfillment will contribute to achieve such a model in the long term.

García Rodríguez  highlighted with regard to the Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model for Cuban Socialist Development, that this does not conceptualize the political model, but it has a high content of that aspect in all its conception. The same, he said, reflects the principles of our Socialism, which summarize the continuity of the basic concepts and fundamental characteristics of the ideal of the socialist society forged by the Revolution.

Likewise, it reflects the human being as the center of everything, the existence of a single Party for the nation, the humanist essence of our social project, as well as those changes which are referred to the consolidation of the existence of social ownership over the basic means of production, together with the recognition and diversification of different forms of ownership and management.

In the text it also points out the concepts of sustainability and prosperity, economic and social rights, and work as a source of welfare and prosperity, among others. It also reflects the planned economy to which we aspire, which involves maintaining high growth rates with an adequate structure of wealth distribution, while seeking for the individual and collective project materialize, the PCC leader said.

The President of the José Martí Youth Movement Palacio Yusuam Ortega talked about the historical importance of defining theoretically our economic and social model. He said that it’s transcendental  that the introduction of the document, which has the  concept of Revolution by Fidel as essential foundations and the Guidelines ... includes also the concept of politics by José Martí, because it controls what we are doing at present, and he has us taught how to act, especially before the adversary.

The official of the Ministry of Interior Leonel Rodriguez Cedeno noted the document should not only refer to the genocidal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the US government, but also to other policies of hostility toward Cuba.

The historian Elier Ramirez Cañedo, also explianed the importance of the inclusion of the organizations that make up the civil society in one of the paragraphs of the document, linked to the principles of Socialism which support the model; particularly, in relation to socialist democracy, because  the concept is reduced without this.

On Chapter 2: The ownership over the basic means of production, the Deputy Director of Juventud Rebelde newspaper Yailin Orta Rivero noted that in the paragraph addressing this it was mainly achieved by the efficient performance of the service units and the business system in its different forms of management, it must be added that the system should always be «socialist for all the people. » She also expressed concern about what are the limits to be put on the concentration of wealth and property.

The Professor at the Tania The Guerilla Pedagogical School in Pinar del Rio Yosvany Montano Garrido proposed an amendment to Chapter 4, on regard to social policy. He proposed that in addition to recollecting that the education system ensures the training of a skilled workforce, which is a point of view reductionist, extremely economic, itshould be added that it ensures the formation of revolutionary citizens for life.

Great exchanges raised the need not discard any of the actors who are actively involved in comprehensive training on the new generation values: family, school and community, because each link in that chain plays a leading role. That’s why the State fosters a permanent link in continued consolidation between them.

During the debate of the Conceptualization, where 25 statements were made, it was also set out to add the respect for the environmental heritage, to proclaim, not only the right to defend independence and the socialist homeland, but also to participate in it, including terms as irreversible socialist society and cultural rights. With regard to the priority attention for the demographic situation, they asked to add «especially in the youth sector» because they are a link in this respect.

No room for improvisation

The National Plan for Economic and Social Development until 2030 also raised the analysis of the 103 members of the highest governing body of the UJC between congresses, who weighed their relevance to leave behind short-term solutions and to design a long-term national project, as there can be no room for improvisation when the future of the nation is decided.

On this regard, Julio Cesar García Rodríguez said that in this Plan establishes the Vision of the Nation, understood as the state to be achieved and defined as Sovereign, Independent, Socialist, Democratic, Prosperous and Sustainable, synthesized in the Conceptualization. It also defines the strategic Axes as the pillars and driving forces that will structure and finalize the Plan, and consequently achieve the Vision of the Nation.

He noted that in this long-term projection, it will not be static nor rigid but will entail the process of regular updating, identifying, also preliminarily, the strategic economic sectors, whose performance will be able to hit on and drag the rest of the economy. In addition, the Plan will be the main tool to achieve the essential objectives set out in the Conceptualization.

Referring to aspects of this document, Yailin Orta Rivero said that the aspect of promoting the development and expansion of the domestic market, it must be done in order to satisfy demand. And she argued, in this sense that today in Cuba there is no research institute for the demand, to be reflected with an adequate scientific basis.

In the paragraph related to design syllabuses and enhancing the provision of training grants for advanced studies for young talent in universities and technological institutes, the President of the Federation of University Students Jenniffer Bello Martinez proposed to add also the topic related to stimulating academic mobility.

The student leader proposed to also change the topic relating it to continue encouraging the development of research in the field of social sciences and humanities on priority issues of society for  stimulating the use of these inquiries for decision making at different levels.

One of the main topics for discussion regarding the Plan, was the youth social policies. In this regard, Bello Martínez proposed adding a specific objective to the strategic axis  of Human Development, Equity and Justice, related to the strengthening  the protection of young people from social policies for contributing to the construction and realization of life and professional projects.

In keeping with this vision, several attendees at the Plenary, like Elier Ramirez Cañedo who said that the previous proposal had been raised in other areas of discussion of these documents, so it should be regarded with greater emphasis.

The First Secretary of the National Committee of the UJC Yuniasky Crespo Baquero, who led the analysis of the texts, considered that this proposal should also be focused on collective projects, while she praised the desire of young people to continue contributing to transform and improve the country that we all are contributing to.

After nearly three hours of debate, the National Committee of the UJC   endorsed documents from the 7Th Congress of the PCC. And, Julio Cesar Rodriguez praised the depth and wisdom of each of the statements, as well as the vision and the relevance of the proposals.

He noted, highlighting the deep study of the documents and the previous preparation by those attending the Plenary, that its contribution will be effective also in the guidance to the members of the base committees on the content of these documents, to enable the cadres and officials who lead the consultation, to have the proper preparation.

As Army General Raúl Castro said at the closing ceremony of the 7th Cngress, it has been expected to approve these documents before the end of this year, including the changes resulting from the consultation process. Therefore, he said that in a case of this nature is essential to achieve the conscious support of the great majority, it is essential to listen, think and take into account the views of the membership and the people in general.

Taking the agreements present

The figures do not say all, but they are enlightening and realistic. From the 59 agreements that resulted from the discussion during  10th Congress of youth political vanguard, held last July, until now,  14 agreements are fully  carried out, 40 are running, and  five are pending.

Perhaps as never before, this monitoring process of the agreements has been marked by an organization and a dialogue that can transform and create a true consciousness and creativity. Especially since, as was discussed by Julio Cesar García Rodríguez, these agreements are the youth policies in Cuba.

We have been working for nearly a year. Progress has been made in an organized way and using more original methods. In addition, the frequency with which the actions are discussed to achieve agreements, is also significant, Garcia Rodriguez highlighted. And he added that young people are already informed and oriented; only the compliance with quality is lacking; but it’s in the commitment and spirit.

The Second Secretary of the National Committee of the UJC Susely Morfa González explained in the Plenary the way in which she has worked since last July to now, almost a year of work after the greatest event of the organization. As she said, the National Bureau launched actions to ensure dissemination, study and materialization of the agreements, including the realization of post-congresses in 91 percent of the base organizations.

The second secretary said that one of the measures that caused  the highest impact was the participation of cadres in all meetings of general secretaries of the base committees in Cuba,  and the meeting with nearly 27,000 of these leaders, a strategy that will remain as part of the working system of the UJC.

Other moments that have marked this period of realization of the agreements are the National Bureau meetings with youth leaders in each province, and the active participation in the Boards of Directors of the Ministries and Bodies of the Central Management of the State. Likewise, several provinces have been also visited to check their working methods with militancy.

Morfa Gonzalez highlighted that the link to the base with more interactive novel methods has been intensified, especially in the centers that have priority and high concentration of youth. In addition, they are working on a project for transforming the image of the organization, she said.

From the agreements, those related to the establishment of the Necessary Connection as space for debate in the base committees, are fulfilled. 

In response to another concern, Morfa Gonzalez said that the agreement that instructs the Marti Youth Movement for promoting the study of history, a matter in which there has been a lot of motivation, is already fulfilled.

Regarding the recreation and the discussion of this issue in the different bodies of People's Power, several realities show that progress is being made in compliance. In addition, the positive experiences in different areas of the country are still spreading, and the control actions of the deputies on healthy recreation will soon be presented at the National Assembly.

The creation of the productive movement for boosting sugarcane recovery in the country which motivates and encourages young people, has successfully advanced. However, the provinces continues to evaluate the impact of the actions developed, where 58 municipal assets are counted in 13 provinces with the participation of more than 5,300 young people in  the sugar sector and the related administrative agencies. The systematization of assets as a space for debate must be improved for reaching the sectors of science, tourism and health, as well as the non-state sector.

The Azcuba Business Group, in response to the demand by attention mechanisms for the control and stability of the youth working force in the sugar industry, approved 13 measures related to training and recognition of the youth sector.

The creation of a resolution by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment (Citma) to meet the young scientific reserve, highlights among the advances after the Congress. This regulation responds to the request of the youth in this field to be followed in their working location, and being stimulated for training and improvement.

Morfa González said that improved care approaches and concerns of young people from the base to the national level should continue to be reviewed to ensure greater effectiveness, a major demand of the militants in which we have worked during this time.

Yuniasky Crespo Baquero explained that the statements related to the amendments to the Statutes and Regulations of the organization are being studied in more detail, as they involve profound transformations.

The first secretary also highlighted that on this occasion, the method to ensure the fulfillment of the agreements has been focused on the discussion with the organizations and ministries to make proposals and approaches, thus achieving objective changes.

For example, he said, the Ministry of Education included in its preparation for the school year, an aspect related to the implementation of the agreements of 10th UJC Congress and institutional responsibility to make them a reality.

Baquero Crespo stressed that the UJC changes in communication have been definitive to update the organization. These highlight the creation of profiles on social networks members of the National Bureau of the UJC, updating the website of the organization (which should be on line soon).

Important is the fact that each organization and youth movement has put in its discussion platform congressional agreements related to their social function. At this point, Rubiel García González, president of the Hermanos Saiz Association, called to adopt as a method of monitoring the agreements of the UJC the same leading organizations such as the FEU and AHS itself, which continues to serve each statement as if it were still running, since there are standing arrangements to be guaranteed each year with higher quality.

The young journalist Jorge Enrique Jerez from Camaguey addressed the relevance of each youth leader taking advantage of their profile on social networks, because the contents are worthless published if not managed properly and do not reach most of the young universe.

Elier Cañedo Ramirez said the militants need to participate in these discussion sites, because they are the political vanguard and require, in addition to training, learning the way the Cuban youth think. Intentionality, systematic and immediacy are the three key words of an ideological battle, he stressed, and argued that this is the fundamental reason why you need to communicate directly with the youth, especially on the most contentious issues.

Translated by ESTI

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