Cuba set for unprecedented Communist Party convention
Jan 27, 2012, 19:57 GMT
Havana - More than 800 delegates are to meet starting Saturday in Havana in the first ever convention of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).
Although the convention is featured as an instrument in the Cuban constitution, such an assembly has never before been held. The two-day convention was called in the wake of the party's April congress, which institutionalized the island's economic reform process.
Delegates are to meet at the Convention Centre in Havana to debate the re-organization of the party in light of recent reform, which among others grants more space to private initiative in many fields.
Raul Castro, who temporarily took over from his brother Fidel Castro at the helm of all major decision-making bodies in Cuba in 2006 and became the island-country's president in 2008, only officially took over the PCC leadership in April.
The convention's draft declaration was debated in 65,000 meetings of PCC groups and of the Young Communists Union, according to the party's daily newspaper Granma on Friday. There are more than 800,000 registered members of the communist party in the country of 11 million people, it said.
Dissidents to the Cuban government and the Cuban Roman Catholic Church, among others, have stressed that the decision-making process in the country still lacks political plurality and demand political reform to go with economic changes.