The red curtain in the background, the presidential table attached in the Soviet-style, and the leader in the center barely letting those seated in the other armchairs speak. This is how I remember the Cuban Communist Party congresses which had just begun to be held in 1975, the year I was born. After the fourth, held in 1991, the next had to be delayed, in part because material shortages kept them from bringing together, housing and feeding so many delegates. But I always believed that these deferrals revealed the inconsistency of what was written in Article 5 of the Cuban Constitution: “the Party (…) is the superior leading force of the society and the State.” The delay in establishing directives and plans bore witness that the country was governed in another way: more personal, more reduced to the will of one man.
Thus, the new postponement of the Sixth Party Congress doesn’t surprise me, though it is already twelve years since the last one. After all, dynasties need neither the ideologies nor the consensus of the members of an organization with principles and statutes, much less do they need to conform to the script drawn up for a party meeting. To improvise, send down orders from above, call on discipline and control, announce platitudes of the sort, “it is necessary to work the land,” and to continue announcing deadlines that are not met, does not require getting together, reaching agreements, nor finding out how to comply with popular demands.