Extract from Raul Castro's closing speech to the Communist Party Conference

News from Cuba | Monday, 30 January 2012

"In referring to these issues, we must state the importance of ensuring that the moral authority of the Party, its members and, in particular, of its leaders at all levels, is based on personal example, starting with proven ethical, political and ideological qualities and constant contact with the masses.

The Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble, which has cost so much bloodshed among our valiant people, would cease to exist without the enemy firing a single shot, if its leadership should one day fall into the hands of corrupt individuals and cowards.

It is highly worthwhile always bearing in mind these concepts, which are not new, because of the real and potential damage corruption poses for the present and future of the nation.

In recent weeks, National Assembly deputies and many cadres and officials from all over the country have been given abundant information about certain corruption investigations being undertaken by specialized agencies within the Ministry of the Interior, in close cooperation with the Attorney General's Office and the Comptroller General of the Republic. In due time, after decisions are made by the relevant courts, our population will be fully informed of these acts.

Not long ago, when I spoke during the closing session of the National Assembly this past December, I referred to my conviction that, at this stage, corruption is one of the principal enemies of the Revolution, much more prejudicial than the multi-million dollar subversive, interventionist campaign of the United States and its allies within the country and without. I also said that, from now on, we would not allow measures taken to confront crime to be short-lived efforts, which has surely happened on other occasions.

Fortunately, without any desire whatsoever to discount the seriousness of this problem, fairly common around the world, I believe our country can win the battle against corruption. First put a brake on it; then eliminate it without hesitation of any kind. We have already announced that, within the boundaries of the law, we will be implacable in confronting the phenomenon of corruption.

On many occasions, those implicated in cases detected thus far are members of the Party, who clearly harbored double standards and used their status within the Party to secure positions in leadership bodies, flagrantly violating their responsibilities as Communists set forth in the Party's statutes.

Thus, without waiting for the revision and updating of guiding Party documents which is underway, the 3rd Central Committee Plenum held last December determined that the sanction to be applied to those participating in acts of corruption could be none other than expulsion from the ranks of the Party, regardless of the administrative or penal sanctions imposed. Until recently, this measure € ?’? expulsion € ?’? was exceptional and reserved for cases of treason and very serious crimes.

There is not the slightest doubt that the vast majority of citizens and leadership cadre are honest people, but we know that this is not enough, it is not enough to be honorable and appear so. One must fight and confront problems, move from words to action.

It is true that, for some years now, the Party has been waging a battle against this affliction; however, the Party was going one way and the government another. To ensure success, it is imperative that the Party definitively assume the leadership of this process, which in no way means that it will supplant the responsibilities of any other institution.

The Party, in the first place, will demand that all authorities fulfill their obligations, without interfering in administration, but, yes, exposing, alerting and struggling, at the grassroots level, the municipal level, investigating, thinking, and thinking again, about how to mobilize all forces in this endeavor. Every time we do this, we are going to confirm that the relationship of forces, in all sense, favors us in this effort to defeat corruption. Priority must be given to the organization, and the consistency, of this struggle.

Moreover, this is not the exclusive responsibility of Party members, but also that of every citizen, Party member or not, who is concerned about his or her country."

Raul Castro, January 2012

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