The Cuban Communist Party at the Center of
Political and Economic Reform: Current Status
and Future Reform in the Shadow o...
The Problem
• Ley 118 (foreign Direct Investment) illustrates the problems of
reform facing Cuba today;
• The usual analys...
Thesis
• (1) Variations in Marxist ideology matter (no monolithic communist ideology),
• (2) sustainable economic reform i...
Roadmap
A. In Ideology We Trust, The Centrality of ideology to the problem of reform in
Cuba;
B. Progressing vs. Preservin...
A. In Ideology We Trust, The Centrality of
ideology to the problem of reform in Cuba
Ideology provides the language of pol...
B. Progressing vs. Preserving: The Cuban
Ideological Path—From Revolution to
Lineamientos
• Cuba has chosen European/ Sovi...
Party Ideology: preserve revolutionary
traditions
1950s Revolutionary
Marxist-Leninism (the
Party Coming into
Power)
1970s...
C. Ideology in shaping Cuba Party-State
structure
Institutionalization
manifested through
the politics of
personality rath...
D. Ideology in shaping the Reforms
Reform
Coops
Licensing
Ley No.
118
• Reform can only be understood within the
construct...
E. Different Shades of Red: China and
Alternative Paths to Marxist-Leninism
• Marxism-Leninism not Monolithic;
• Chinese p...
F. Transition is coming: cosmetic surgery,
organ transplant or transmigration of the
soul?
• Most in the west: an inevitab...
Thank You
Thank you
90s 2000s
Havana, Cuba
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The Cuban Communist Party at the Center of Political and Economic Reform: Current Status and Future Reform in the Shadow of the Chinese Communist Party

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Thesis: (1) Variations in Marxist ideology matter (no monolithic communist ideology),
(2) sustainable economic reform is possible within a Marxist Leninist State-Party systems, and
(3) ideological systemic ossification in Cuba can contribute to crisis and paralysis.

It is in that context that one considers the questions: does the Chinese model provide a framework for Cuba? Is it too late for reform of the Cuba CP?
If reform is possible, what should be its objectives and strategies? To answer these questions Cuba might do well to consider the Chinese path toward constructing Socialist Democracy and Socialist modernization.

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The Cuban Communist Party at the Center of Political and Economic Reform: Current Status and Future Reform in the Shadow of the Chinese Communist Party

  1. 1. The Cuban Communist Party at the Center of Political and Economic Reform: Current Status and Future Reform in the Shadow of the Chinese Communist Party ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF THE CUBAN ECONOMY TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING CUBA’S PERPLEXING CHANGES Miami, Florida, July 31 – August 2, 2014 Larry Catá Backer W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar & Professor of Law and International Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University LCB911@GMAIL.COM
  2. 2. The Problem • Ley 118 (foreign Direct Investment) illustrates the problems of reform facing Cuba today; • The usual analysis: – focus on economic viability and administrative coherence/efficiency; – hunting for evidence of collapse • Masks the fundamental problems, – PCC ideological foundations may make reform impossible to realize in its operation; • Ideology, then should be an important focus of our study of Cuban reform.
  3. 3. Thesis • (1) Variations in Marxist ideology matter (no monolithic communist ideology), • (2) sustainable economic reform is possible within a Marxist Leninist State-Party systems, and • (3) ideological systemic ossification in Cuba can contribute to crisis and paralysis. – It is in that context that one considers the questions: does the Chinese model provide a framework for Cuba? Is it too late for reform of the Cuba CP? – If reform is possible, what should be its objectives and strategies? To answer these questions Cuba might do well to consider the Chinese path toward constructing Socialist Democracy and Socialist modernization.
  4. 4. Roadmap A. In Ideology We Trust, The Centrality of ideology to the problem of reform in Cuba; B. Progressing vs. Preserving: The Cuban Ideological Path—From Revolution to Lineamientos; C. Ideology in shaping Cuba Party-State structure; D. Ideology in shaping Economic Reform; E. Different Shades of Red: China and Alternative Paths to Marxist-Leninism; F. Transition is coming: cosmetic surgery, organ transplant or transgression of the soul.
  5. 5. A. In Ideology We Trust, The Centrality of ideology to the problem of reform in Cuba Ideology provides the language of political disocurse and the normative framework within which reform is possible Problem of Cuba Marxism Leninism Cuba political discourse Ideology Ideology IdeologyIdeology
  6. 6. B. Progressing vs. Preserving: The Cuban Ideological Path—From Revolution to Lineamientos • Cuba has chosen European/ Soviet Approach to Marxist-Leninism; • Ossification; • Preserving Revolution became the central element affect all aspect of Cuba society: internal policy and foreign policy; • Cult of Personality vs. institutionalization of collective decision making; • Rules vs. Discretion
  7. 7. Party Ideology: preserve revolutionary traditions 1950s Revolutionary Marxist-Leninism (the Party Coming into Power) 1970s-1980s Orthodox Stalinist Cult of Personality Bureaucratic Socialism (the Leader Over the Party in Power) 1990s-2010 Ossified Post Totalitarianism and Statist Regionalism Now? (Move toward Sustained Economy Reform) Marx-Lenin- Stalin Theory Marti Ideology • Nationalism • Latin American Solidarity • Self-conscious Castro Theory • Refining Leninism/ Stalinism • Theorizing Globalization • Anti-Globalization Alternative (ALBA) ? • Lineamientos • Social morals, • Advancing collectivism, • Ideology of revolution, • Combat with bourgeois ideology and errors • Advancing social justice and equity, overcoming racism and • Fighting with corruption and lack of faith of socialism
  8. 8. C. Ideology in shaping Cuba Party-State structure Institutionalization manifested through the politics of personality rather than a matrix of rules Party pay more attention to ideology and ALBA rather than economy The ideological base locked up with class struggle Weak institutionalization; no socialist rule of law environment. • Substantial intermeshing of Party in the functioning of the state and of the state apparatus subsumed within Party structures. • Law is merely a basis of administration, which subject to the discretion of administrations.
  9. 9. D. Ideology in shaping the Reforms Reform Coops Licensing Ley No. 118 • Reform can only be understood within the constructs of ideological taboos. • A limited non-state sectors are tightly controlled by central planning at the discretion of administrative power. • Cooperative regulations and licensing scheme
  10. 10. E. Different Shades of Red: China and Alternative Paths to Marxist-Leninism • Marxism-Leninism not Monolithic; • Chinese path – Sustainable elements (local applicability) – Mythological approach: dynamic interpretation from foundations.
  11. 11. F. Transition is coming: cosmetic surgery, organ transplant or transmigration of the soul? • Most in the west: an inevitable transition toward western style based economy and democracy. • Many in PCC: gradual opening as narrow as possible, a painkiller that solve present issues while minimizing the impacts on basic character of Cuba. • The third approach (Chinese path) to the construction of a Marxism- Leninism Party-State, Socialist Rule of Law/ Democracy/ Opening Up.
  12. 12. Thank You Thank you 90s 2000s Havana, Cuba

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