Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Proceedings of Fourth PCC Congress Reported
Havana Radio Rebelde Network
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1310180191
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-199-S        Report Date:    15 Oct 91
Report Series:       Latin America            Start Page:     38
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       40
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       13 Oct 91

City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio Rebelde Network

Report Name:   SUPPLEMENT

Headline:   Proceedings of Fourth PCC Congress Reported

Subheadline:   Castro Calls Cuba `Most Democratic'

Author(s):   Ariel Larramendi on remarks by President Fidel Castro, from the
Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba-live; passages within
quotation marks are recorded]

Source Line:   FL1310180191 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 1610 GMT 13
Oct 91

Subslug:   [Report by Ariel Larramendi on remarks by President Fidel Castro,
from the Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba-live; passages within
quotation marks are recorded]

1.  [Report by Ariel Larramendi on remarks by President Fidel Castro, from the
Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba-live; passages within quotation marks are

2.  [Text] [Larramendi] Friends, the subject of perfecting the organization and
functioning of the People's Government organizations raised many and extensive
analyzes among the delegates to the Fourth Communist Party of Cuba [PCC]
Congress which is being held here at the Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba.
The remarks made by the delegates were supported by the experience gathered in
the 16 years the People's Government organizations have been functioning, their
accomplishments, and limitations. Participating in the debate, Commander in
Chief Fidel Castro noted the norms that should be taken into account in the
congress regarding the guidelines for the National Assembly of the People's

3.  [Castro] ``I believe that this debate is developing very well, very well
[repeats] although some elements remain to be heard. We should not forget that
we are not making laws here. The National Assembly is the one to make laws. We
should leave the National Assembly a broad framework to make decisions. We
should outline general guidelines. I also agree that the congress can set more
guidelines than the existent ones to have more criteria for.... [changes
thought] The National Assembly should always be the one to decide how to do it.
Yes, we can have ideas to explain this. Those ideas can be explained without
being here.

4.  ``The National Assembly is the one to decide how things should be done, how
to carry them out, how to implement them. We should not forget that these are
not the party statutes or program. This pertains to the party. We are talking
here about the People's Government, about recommendations, and ideas. We are
talking about the political thinking of the party on this. I believe there are
still more things to talk about which are not going to be [words indistinct]
but that they could show up as a political thinking of the party. Later, the
National Assembly, which is the one that has to legislate will see how it can
fit the political thinking of the party with the realities. They many discover
things that we may not discover. Conflicts and problems may come in the
practical application of those general principles. We will continue to be in

5.  ``We have said that the independent functioning of institutions is not
incompatible with the principles of the guiding role of the party. First there
is close coordination, exchanges, exchange of views. In reality, we are not
making laws here. Nevertheless, it is absolutely fair for the comrades to be
concerned about the ideas about this to see if it is consistent, if it is
logical. There are more things to explain. This is why I believe that all these
matters need to be discussed so that we can later enrich the information with
other ideas which could be considered as solutions, to be adopted by the
National Assembly.''

6.  [Larramendi] The commander in chief referred to the subject of democracy.

7.  [Castro] ``It is good for us to talk about democracy once and for all,
forgetting about the rest of the world's criteria, to see if there is a more
democratic system in the world than ours. We can prove this. What happens is
that they do not even know how people are elected here.  I base this on my
conviction that our system is the most democratic one in the world. We want to
perfect it even more, improve it so that in the future it is more democratic
than what it is now. But now, it is the most democratic one in the world. I
want to make you aware that we have to develop this concept within the
principles of a single party. The greatest lie in the world is that democracy
is the fragmentation of society in a thousand pieces. This does not hold
especially for countries that have their sovereignty and independence
threatened, the countries that have been exploited, underdeveloped, looted. The
principle [of democracy] should prevail whether it is with one party or 10,000.

8.  ``In some of the so-called popular democracies there are about 200 parties
now. They are not sent to the insane asylum because there is no room. Two
hundred parties.  They divide parties in a million pieces. This is what
imperialism wants. Imperialism has one party which is capitalism. There, it is
divided in two; they take turns.  There is no labor party or any other
possibilities. The entire social system is organized and designed for the
government of the capitalists, of the rich and millionaire oligarchy. You have
to start out by being rich in order to run for a position. All this we are
talking about is related to something as important and basic as the concept of
democracy. What is democracy? How should democracy be implemented? How should
socialist democracy be perfected?''

9.  ``We were lucky that it did not occur to us to find a single candidate and
nominate him like it happened over there [place not specified] and was elected
to be a member of the assembly. Fortunately, we made an invention, the great
invention that the community residents made the nominations. As I said at the
beginning, the principle of one party is very important because we do not want
to divide our society in 1,000 pieces. We cannot, should not, nor do we have
the right to do it because this would be suicidal. One party is important with
democracy and the possibility of everyone participating.

10.  ``Who elects representatives in Europe and all those places? They make the
list of candidates and estimate more or less how many votes each party is going
to get.  Who establishes the order in the list? The party, the party machinery.
If a party knows that it is going to get five, four, or six deputies, it places
such and such a person on the top of the list, such and such as number two, and
so forth until it goes through 30. The three or four top ones get elected. The
ones the party decided on. The people vote for a party but the people do not
elect the deputies.  In our party, the deputies are at least elected by
community-based delegates who were selected by the community residents. It is
very clear that we have to perfect this but we are looking for perfection in
our system which is the most democratic one. Of course, we are (?not)
perfecting everything. Is this congress democratic or is it not?

11.  ``Six hundred of the delegates, a third part, were elected at the work
centers. Six hundred! The communists at work centers and the workers approved
and supported them. Logically, the rest were elected by the Provincial
Assemblies. See how we discuss everything, everything we want. This is a
democratic progress. This is an unquestionable democratic achievement. We have
set aside formalisms. We are developing our own democracy. With good reason,
the comrade from Pinar del Rio talked yesterday about a serious thing. He said
that in our first congresses the delegates met in their provinces, decided who
was going to speak, and even had prepared speeches. It is not that we were not
democratic because they met in the provinces and decided who was going to
speak, who was going to write the speech, and decided which subjects were going
to be broached and which should be avoided.

12.  ``No one has been restricted and no one has been told what to say. I do
not know anyone here-at least, I am not aware if someone suggested something to
someone else because among 1,800 people, anyone can suggest anything to
anyone-who has been persuaded not to broach a subject because it is too
delicate or complicated, or whatever. You can see how our own party congress is
becoming more democratic. A third of the delegates have been elected directly
at the work centers.  The rest were elected by the party assemblies. Very
extensive discussions have been held on any subject. The only limitation we
have is the number of speakers and time.

13.  ``Well, I said this to point out that we are interested in democracy. We
believe that our procedures are the most democratic and that we want to perfect
them. This is why-prompted by the question I made to you [not further
identified] I got ahead on discussing some ideas, but I can leave them for
later. I have not said anything.  The National Assembly will continue to
discuss and add or delete things. I thought it was convenient to express some
principles and ideas to contribute to the discussion. These ideas are not
ironclad. They can be changed, transformed, or replaced by others. Based on the
fact that a short resolution cannot contain all ideas, it is a good thing to
add more.

14.  ``One of them is how we nominate people and how we nominate people within
the context of a party, and who nominates. The important thing is who submits
the nominations. If there is a party.... [changes thought] It is very important
to clarify all this because we should have the optimum conditions here to
discuss with everyone, with the most democratic among the super democrats, and
show him that our political system is more democratic. The only political
system that can be truly democratic is the socialist one. There has been talk
about democracy since the times of ancient Greece. In Greece, the ones who had
rights could talk in a smaller room than this one. They were just a few. It was
an enslaving society. A great part of the society was composed of slaves. They
had no rights. Another very important sector was composed of citizens without
rights. Just a few people got together and discussed things. That was Greek

15.  ``The bourgeois democracy is not much different. See, if an Indian, a
laborer, or a common man is nominated to a post and see where he is going to
find 100, 200, 300, 500 million [currency not specified] needed to pay the
television and radio commercials, and the rest of the mechanisms. The so-called
Western bourgeois democracy has nothing to do with democracy. It is total
garbage. This is the truth.

16.  ``In discussing this subject, what we are looking for is how to perfect
the most complete democracy that exists.  If it has defects, such as the ones
the comrade from Pinar del Rio pointed out, we need to improve them. People
should be allowed to talk and not have their speeches edited. We can have the
satisfaction, today, the third day of the Fourth PCC Congress, of being able to
say that this is the most democratic congress of all the congresses we have
ever had. Ours were already more democratic than those of others. Starting from
the fact that here we did not even have the famous main report. It does not
mean that it should always be like that. A report could be made under normal
conditions to give some guidances. As I said, we do not want to advance ideas.
If we gave a report and said: We believe that the most correct thing would be
if this was done in this or that way it would almost be like setting the stage
for how everything should be done.  The congress is not developing in that way
but in this other way in which all topics can be discussed. We are discussing
the points of view and opinions with complete freedom. My words were made to
precisely help achieve this.''