Arab Today, arab today cubas communist party congress to focus on economic reform new generations
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Cuba's Communist Party congress to focus on economic reform, new generations

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Cuba's Communist Party congress to focus on economic reform, new generations

Cuba's Communist Party
Havana - XINHUA

Cuba's Communist Party (PCC) will begin its seventh congress Saturday with a focus on two pressing issues -- the economic reform and shaping the new generations.

The event follows a wide range of consultations and discussions at local and regional levels on how to further implement Cuba's economic and social reforms.

The "economy will take center stage," and so will "a debate on the party's responsibility for shaping the new generations," said the Cuban News Agency.

Cuba's economic reform aims to promote "a more diverse, less centralized economy" that can increase production, said Efrain Echevarria Hernandez, a professor at Pinar del Rio university and a delegate to the congress.

To do that, the government has promoted the creation of cooperatives that sell surplus production to increase income, and encouraged small businesses to flourish.

Yusniel Ligona Mesa, a member of an agricultural cooperative in Pinar del Rio province, will talk about her experience as part of a farming mechanism that supplied 22 percent of the rice produced in the province in 2015.

As Cuba's revolutionary leadership ages, passing the baton to the next generation has taken on urgency. Cuban President Raul Castro has said he would step down in 2018 to pave the way for a younger leader.

Cuba's young people have been playing a leading role in the country's economic and social sectors, said Yoerky Sanchez Cuellar, one of the only 55 delegates aged under 35.

His generation also represents 31 percent of the country's budding private sector -- entrepreneurs and small-business owners not on the government payroll, added Sanchez.

The congress will be divided into four working groups, three of which will discuss economic reform while a fourth is set to debate the "conceptualization" of Cuba's socialist model in the future.

The congress, which will last until April 19, will set Cuba's economic and political paths for the next five years. It will also be the first congress since Havana and Washington re-established diplomatic relations in 2015.

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