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The 7th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party stands in stark contrast to its predecessor. The 6th PCC Congress appeared to usher in an era of at least limited opening up and the institutionalization of a private sector of sorts. Yet the 7th PCC Congress in many respects appeared to disappoint. Procedurally it appeared to mark a step back from the openness of the 6th Congress. And it offered little by way of political opening up, even an opening up ushering in more robust intra-Party democracy. Most importantly, the 7th PCC Congress appeared to fall far short of confronting the economic model reaffirmed in the 4th PCC Congress—a model of central planning and Soviet bureaucratic mechanisms substituting for any sort of markets based regulation of economic activity. This paper considers the potential and the missed opportunities of the 7th PCC Congress. A close reading of the 7th PCC Congress will suggest the limits of reform in Cuba. Ideological limits are suggested by a political timidity that has been built into the operating culture of the PCC. As a consequence the PCC is finding it hard to move even from soviet style central planning ideologies to Marxist market ideologies that have proven more successful in other states. The PCC is suffering from a paralysis that may be more dangerous to its long term authority than any machinations originating in its enemies. The paper ends with a consideration of options and likely movement over the short term moving forward.