Cuban president outlines major reforms

Cuba has begun its crucial Communist Party congress, with proposals for major reforms on the Caribbean island nation. President Raul Castro is proposing limited terms for Cuban politicians – including himself – a remarkable gesture on an island ruled for 52 years by him and his brother Fidel.

At the first congress of the Cuban Communist Party for 14 years, Raul Castro told delegates that he would launch a systematic rejuvenation of the government.

The 79-year-old Cuban president lamented the lack of young leaders in government, saying the country was paying the price for errors made in the past.

He said politicians and other important officials should be restricted to two consecutive five-year terms.

Raul Castro, Cuban President, said, “We have reached the conclusion that it is recommendable to limit to a maximum of two five-year consecutive terms all the State’s fundamental political positions.”

Castro officially took over from his brother Fidel in 2008, meaning he would be at least 86 at the end of a second term, depending on how the law is written.

The proposal was made towards the end of a two and a half hour speech in which the Cuban leader forcefully backed a long list of changes to the country’s socialist economic system, including the eventual elimination of ration books and other subsidies, the decentralization of the island nation’s economy and a new reliance on supply and demand in some sectors.

Raul Castro, Cuban President, said, “The ration book of food subsidies has become, across the years, an unbearable burden for the economy and a disincentive for work.”

Meanwhile, a big military and civilian parade has also been held to mark the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs triumph against the U.S. aggression. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans – from aging veterans to factory workers – took part the event in Revolution Plaza.

– |Source: CNTV.CN

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