In a surprise move Cuban President Raul Castro has postponed the ruling communist party’s first congress in 12 years. He indicated it might be the last under the aging historic leadership of the revolution.
The 78 year-old leader said the government has to carefully analyse economic matters. Cuban dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua claims Cuba is a failing country and is, in economic terms, bankrupt. He said, “You realise that after the passing of the Castros, Cuban society is going to adopt another direction. With this in mind they prefer to opt for a freeze on this great debate that society has been demanding and bow out from power and from the circumstances into which they have plunged Cuba over the past fifty years.” But the island’s economy minister says that the 2009 economic growth forecast has been revised downward again to 1.7 percent. The original anticipated growth rate for the year was six percent. In the face of the global economic crisis Castro is trying to make Cuba’s socialist system more productive. But his only major economic reform has been in agriculture, putting more state land in the hands of private farmers.