Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cuba Communist Party considers Raul Castro's call for term limits at all levels of government

Cuba Communist Party considers Raul Castro's call for term limits at all
levels of government
By Associated Press, Published: October 14

HAVANA — Cuba's Communist Party announced that it is taking up Raul
Castro's call to establish term limits for officials, including the
president himself, as the country tries to promote younger leaders to
take over from the graying revolutionaries who have been in charge since

The matter will be discussed in party meetings in the coming months and
submitted for ratification at a National Conference on Jan. 28,
according to an eight-page tabloid published Friday that lays out the
agenda for the gathering.

The idea is to achieve a "gradual renewal in leadership," the document
said, and "limit the discharge of fundamental political and government
positions to a maximum of two consecutive periods of five years."

It did not say specifically which levels of government would be
affected, but Castro proposed at a Party summit in April that even
presidential terms be limited. Astonishing the world and the nation
after 52 years with either him or his elder brother Fidel in charge,
Castro spoke of the need for a "systematic rejuvenation."

Castro said then that he and Fidel had tried to promote young leaders
but they hadn't worked out well — perhaps a reference to the 2009 firing
of Cuba's photogenic foreign minister and vice president, who were later
accused of lusting too obviously for power.

"Today we face the consequences of not having a reserve of substitutes
ready," Castro said in April.

Such talk raised speculation that younger officials would rise to the
top echelons of power, but Castro, now 80 years old, has largely
surrounded himself with stalwarts from the revolutionary old guard.

The document published Friday also spoke of a need to promote racial and
sexual diversity in positions of responsibility.

It reaffirmed the Communist Party's position as the only one allowed in
Cuba and warned that the government's foreign enemies are lurking and
waiting to pounce.

"The imperialists pin their hopes on the supposed vulnerability of the
new generations. ... They try to foment division, apathy, dismay ... and
a lack of confidence in the leadership of the revolution and the party,"
it said.

"They try to show a society without future in order to turn back
socialism, to strip us of independence and revolutionary achievements."

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