Raul Castro, the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, called for an “honorable conversation” between Cuba and the United States on Friday in his last major speech as the country’s top leader.
According to the principles of revolution and socialism, “I aspire to develop a respectful dialogue with this party and build a new kind of relationship with the United States”. The ruling Communist Party (PCC, sole).
Raoul was the co-author of a dispute between the two countries in 2014 with Barack Obama that ended a half-century of strong confrontation and re-energized diplomatic relations, broke off in 1961 and re-established in 2015 was done.
However, Republican Donald Trump blasted much progress between the two countries, and effectively implemented the rigorous reinforcement of Embargo since 1962.
Sixty years after his brother Fidel Castro declared the socialist character of the Cuban revolution, Raul, 89, also insisted on an “economic war”, with the stated goal of strangling against the nation of Washington “fighting against the island.” Has been “and provoking its wrath. Social”.
– “finish my homework” –
The historic meeting at the Havana Convention Center, which will last four days and be attended by 300 delegates from across the country, marks the departure of this revolutionary leader and the rise of a new generation.
As he entered the meeting in his four-star general uniform, followed by his successor, President Miguel Diaz-Canel (60), Raul received long acclaim from delegates, according to some images released by state television.
“I finished my job as the first secretary (…) and finished with a thoughtful conviction of not accepting proposals to place me in the higher limbs of the party organization, with confidence in the future of the country.” “He told Castro when presenting the central report.
Applause, he assured that nothing “compels them to take this decision.” He said, “I believe very much in the example of my compatriot and the strength and courage of understanding.”
Díaz-Kennel, who replaced him as president in 2018, will be the first civilian leader of the party in which he has spent his entire career. He is to be appointed as the first secretary, the highest position in the country, during the last day on Monday.
This is the “Congress of Continuity”, he said on Twitter, noting that one of the country’s last five communist countries, the country’s guidelines will not change.
Although urgent economic reforms are needed, the country will remain a unilateral principle, with its economy in deep trouble.
“The party guarantees national unity and makes a synthesis of the dignity, social justice and freedom ideals of generations of patriots who have defended us and us in all these years of struggle and victory,” he said in the Congress. inauguration of. José Ramon Machado Ventura, 90, number two in the party who is also expected to retire.
– “People want more” –
After the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, Raoul’s retirement becomes a landmark pageant on the island, where most of the residents have not met any ruling family other than the famous revolutionaries.
Ramon Blande, an 84-year-old communist militant, said, “Raoul is not going to be in charge of the party, but Raul has a problem, Raoul has not died.”
In the streets of Havana, Cubans seem more concerned about food shortages, without tourists due to the epidemic, long lines in front of supermarkets and an inflationary spiral highlighting the recent integration of the two currencies near the country.
“I hope this improves with Congress, because prices are too high, salaries have increased (…), but (…) money is not ultimately enough,” said 68-year-old retired Maria Martinez . .
In recent months, Cuba has experienced unprecedented social unrest, driven by the recent advent of the mobile Internet, including demonstrations by artists, protests by dissidents, and mobilization by other sectors of civil society, such as animal guards.
Renowned novelist Leonardo Padura said in a recent article, “Raul Castro’s departure from the active political landscape is logically about to bring a more or less historical turn in the immediate future.”
“But people need more. Not only to speak, but to live a better life. I think after so many sacrifices, we Cubans deserve it,” he said.
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