HAVANA – The new phase and associated challenges that Cuba is experiencing after reestablishing diplomatic relations with the United States “elevate the role” of the Communist Party in society and in the “preservation of the work of the Revolution,” party daily Granma said Monday.
“In these new circumstances, the Communist Party continues to lead the people,” says the newspaper in an article entitled “Without the Party, the Revolution could not exist” published with an eye toward the 7th party congress, set for April 16-19.
The article emphasizes that, just as “the party cemented the unity of the entire people and led their resistance in the face of attacks of all kinds by the successive U.S. administrations, now it is doing so in a new scenario.”
Along those lines, Granma says that the current U.S. government “reluctantly” recognized the failure of its policy of “open hostility” toward the Cuban Revolution, but “aspires to obtain the same result they were pursuing, although by other means.”
This will be the first Cuban Communist Party congress since the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington with the reopening of embassies in July 2015.
Granma says that the struggle to establish a “truly normal” relationship between Cuba and the United States will be a long process and that this normalization will “unavoidably” require the rectification of the aggressive policies and harmful measures against the sovereignty of the Caribbean country, including the “blockade” (economic embargo) and the “illegal occupation” of the Guantanamo naval base, among others.
In addition, it insists that the role of Cuba’s only legally recognized political party is “irreplaceable” in maintaining the socialist course.
The upcoming Communist Party conclave will be attended by about 1,000 delegates and will focus on the continuity of the economic reforms to update the island’s socialist model approved at the prior congress in 2011.