As Havana prepares for its first Communist Party Congress in 14 years in April, the United States should seize the opportunity to positively influence the economic blueprint the party is expected to approve.
The Party Congress, usually held every five years, is the ultimate conclave when Cuba's Communist leaders set the direction of the country for the next five years. A document released ahead of the congress shows that the Cuban leadership is considering ideas without precedent in the Cuban revolution's political debate. It essentially proposes moving away from Cuba's command economy and adopting an economic system closer to the ones in Vietnam and China.
For instance, the central party government will control public sector companies through taxes and regulation, not by administering them. Whereas private enterprise was discouraged before, the party is now clearly moving to a strategy of promoting private and other nonstate-sector companies.