Raul Castro re-elected as first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party劳尔·卡斯特罗续任古共领导人
Cuba’s Seventh Communist Party Congress closed Tuesday, leaving the island’s aging leadership unchanged and revealing no details of any new economic or political reforms. The historic leader of the revolution, Fidel Castro, was also there and gave what many saw as a farewell speech.
Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro made a rare public appearance, attending the closing session of the Communist Party Congress. Greeted by cries of “Fidel, Fidel” this Congress was in many ways a throwback to earlier times.
Raul Castro, 84, was re-elected as head of the communist party, while his 85-year-old second in command Machado Ventura, kept his position as well. The much anticipated infusion of new blood into the party leadership must wait for a later date.
Fidel Castro, 89, brought tears to some delegates eyes when he spoke of his ideals lasting long after he has died.
“That time will come to all of us but the ideas of Cuban communism will remain,” Castro said.
This congress comes just a month after U.S. President Barack Obama was warmly received on his historic visit to Cuba. But despite this newfound detente, much of the rhetoric at the congress was anti-American, with Raul Castro continuing to call the U.S. “the enemy.”
There were also mixed messages on Cuba’s struggling economy, where average state wages are around 25 dollars a month. There are now small private businesses, but there is growing frustration at the slow pace of change.
Congress did discuss a new five-year plan and further changes to its economic model. So far, no details have emerged but no one is expecting any radical reforms while the older generation remains in power.