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Cuban Communist Party's delegates voted Sunday for a new Central Committee, in one of the final stages of the ruling party's 8th Congress due to end its work on Monday. The Congress has seen the retirement of veteran revolutionary Raúl Castro from the party's leadership, marking a generational change coinciding with deep economic and financial reforms in the country.
Raul is the younger brother of Fidel Castro, historical leader of the Cuban revolution. The two brothers fought together in the 50´s the revolutionary struggle against the "neolcolonial" regime of Fulgencio Batista. From the outset of the Revolution, Raul Castro was in charge of the military.
The Congress has ratified the party's commitment to build a socialist society with the vision of a sovereign, independent, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation. Current reforms aimed a liberalizing parts of the economic structure, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been described by the Congress as a modernization of Cuba's economic and social model of socialist development.
The Congress ends on April 19, the day when Cuba commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) mercenary invasion´s defeat, which was armed and financed by the United States and was celebrated worldwide as the first military defeat of U.S. imperialism in Latin America.
Communist Party congresses are held every five years.
The central committee directs the political organization between congresses and selects from its ranks the political bureau, which in turn appoints its first secretary, largely expected to be current President Miguel Díaz Canel.
The 300 delegates to the congress, held in Havana behind closed doors with frequent coverage by local television, radio and written press, already hold the candidates' lists.
The number of participants in the congress chosen among the 700,000 communist party militants in the country is lower than in previous similar events due to the coronavirus pandemic, which is spreading throughout the island of over 11 million inhabitants.