“We do not need good people to become cadres, we need the best, the best comrades, those who have the most revolutionary qualifications, the most ideological qualifications and the most professional qualifications, the charisma, work and experience to handle the principle processes."
With this orientation, President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez began his participation in the analysis that took place in the third session of Commission No. 3, during the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba this Friday, in which the Cadre Policy was discussed, an issue that is critical to the Party's work.
All the issues to be addressed here, he said, are the country’s issues, those that are on the people’s agenda, adding, "Having the cadres (we need) is the greatest challenge to fulfilling the purposes and projections of this Congress."
The profound, open, critical debate among delegates, conducted by Party Central Committee Secretariat member Abelardo Álvarez Gil, head of its Department of Organization and Cadre Policy, focused on key aspects associated with attention provided cadres and supervision of their work, their discipline and ethics, as well as the Party School system and the battle against corruption, crime, illegalities and indiscipline.
The Cadre Policy, Diaz-Canel emphasized, is a management system, the Cadre Policy is managed, directed, it has components, procedures that are closely related, and when they are not followed, conduction of the process is disrupted.
In this sense, he offered as an example what happens when you turn to someone you do not know, to give them a responsibility. What is this? Improvisation. And when you turn to a cadre that you do not know to assume a responsibility, it is because you have not proceeded in accordance with the Cadre Policy, because it is supposed that work within the organization has been done to make the selection, identifying the qualified people and preparing them for the promotion.
As part of what is established in Cadre Policy procedures, he added, if someone is going to be promoted, appointed or elected, the first thing to do is to investigate his or her background, where they come from, what their conduct has been, what they have contributed, where they have worked.
When the policy fails, the President said, it is because we have not worked strategically and there are aspects we need to be polishing, to take to a different level of implementation, as more awareness is developed of this issue’s strategic importance to the Revolution.
Hence the emphasis placed by the President on the significance of analyzing why these things happen, "Conduct all the analyses in places where these errors have occurred, continue working, continue identifying the way in which we handle this as a truly strategic process, as the Cadres Policy’s work system.
"If we plan well all the staff transfers there should be no breakdowns, there can be no improvisation in the Cadre Policy," he stated.
"Precisely as we learn to work with this as a system, we will undoubtedly be resolving these problems."
At another point during the debate, the President, also a member of the Party Political Bureau, emphasized the need for our cadres "to know not only how to lead, but be able to confront prolonged, difficult situations - like the one we are now experiencing - with courage, passion, decision and resolve."
Along these lines, he recalled that when assessing the positive and negative impacts of the Reordering Task during its initial stages, sometimes it has been forgotten how complex the situation in the country was before this decision was made, a reality that does not have anything to do with COVID-19, since the application of a group of sanctions by the Trump administration began more than a year and a half ago.
"The problem here is not about surrendering, we can never surrender here," he said. We must remain confident that we can overcome prolonged situations of adversity, and, furthermore, that we will always triumph, when we face those conditions of adversity, he insisted.
The challenge we must assume, he stressed, is that we have this capacity, that we can get through these situations, that we can overcome them, contributing victories for the homeland. This is one of the elements to be taken into consideration in the preparation of cadres.
The President also reflected on how we must act when a cadre makes a mistake. Any of us can make a mistake, he said, but if the person demonstrates the ability to resolve such a situation, this is also a sign that he or she can be trusted.
Directly related to the Party’s work, he stressed the importance of more purposefully including secretaries of cells when visiting workplaces. "If we want them to play a leading role, we must take them into account when visiting sites," he pointed out.
Likewise, he called for the involvement of zone cell and local secretaries, something he considers part of a work system that must guide daily action.
Diaz-Canel also referred to Cuban youth and the need to involve them in all tasks. He spoke of showing them the confidence they have earned, and mentioned the uplifting stories of their work in COVID-19 red zones. They summoned themselves, on their own, he said, giving us all a great lesson.
Finally, he noted that science must also be applied to the Cadres Policy, turning to experts who can lead us with innovations in this arena.
Cadres who are always with the people
Friday's debates in the commission were based on the document "Assessment of the Cadre Policy of the Party, the UJC, mass organizations, the state and government: The Party’s role in achieving superior results,” which was recognized by delegates as a profoundly renovating text, with a critical spirit and novel approach, which is the result of a broad discussion conducted across the country.
For the first secretary of the Party in the municipality of Cienfuegos, Maridé Fernández López, it is essential to ensure quality in the selection of comrades who are part of the reserve pool. Likewise, she described as critical the replacement of cadres when necessary, and systematic, thorough evaluation of performance as a frequent exercise that contributes to the improvement of Party work.
We must promote people with a high moral commitment and ethical conduct, she continued, saying we need cadres who do not improvise and maintain direct ties with their people.
Likewise, the first secretary of the Las Tunas Municipal Committee, Karen González Velázquez, focused on the role of general secretaries with respect to cells, where, in her opinion, the biggest cracks in the Cadres Policy lie. Much has been written on these issues, she stated, but changes approved have not been assumed as a work system.
The first secretary of the Young Communists League, Diosvany Acosta, also participated in the sobering debate, referring to the support and follow-up that young people need. Party leaders must know and understand them, as they assume different responsibilities as part of their preparation.
Delegate from Holguín and governor of the province, Julio César Estupiñán Rodríguez, also spoke about youth. He emphasized the need to pay attention to them after they graduate from university and enter worksites. He commented that their entire trajectories should be evaluated so they can continue to assume greater responsibility.
For Adela Ruíz, delegate for the province of Cienfuegos, these times of pandemic, U.S. blockade and shortages have allowed many young cadres to develop in the fire of difficulties and have brought to the forefront the strength of Cuban youth and their willingness to take on all kinds of tasks. We have excellent young people, she said, on the front lines of the fiercest battles, alongside our people.
For her part, delegate Marcia Cobas Ruiz, a Council of Ministers functionary, highlighted the cadre accountability report method, which is widely used in the country’s central administrative offices, but not iat the intermediate or local levels. She mentioned as noteworthy the appearances of ministers and other top leaders in the media, which have brought them much closer to the people. But there are directors, she said, who do not respond to the population, give poor answers, have no contact with their workers, and are not accountable to their subordinates.
We need cadres, she stated, who are always with the people and are aware of the most humble, those who have the most problems.
In this sense, Alvarez Gil noted that being a political cadre is not just a job. One needs to be a patriot, first and foremost, and willing to face any situation. One must have love for the people. Those who only fulfill tasks, he added, will not be good cadres. The principle attribute needed is to be a patriot and this cannot be measured on any performance balance sheet.
Susely Morfa Gonzalez, member of the Matanzas Provincial Party Bureau, noted that the report presented to serve as a basis for this commission’s work intrinsically includes the thinking of Fidel and Raul, as well as the dialectical, innovative perspective of younger generations on changing the way these issues are addressed.
"This is not renewal for the sake of renewal; this is not a problem of age," it is a matter that involves positive action to guarantee the proper transitioning of individuals through different responsibilities, she stated.
From Pinar del Río, the first secretary of its capital municipality, Yudalys Rodríguez Castro, stated that for everything to go well, the issue of the Cadre Policy is essential, and that it should be implemented carefully, adding that wherever there is a cadre, he or she should be an example.
The Cadre Policy, she clarified, is the responsibility, in the first place, of the Party secretary, who must ensure that the entire team of cadres assumes the task with the priority it merits, because it is everyone's task.
Niurka Bell Calzado, first secretary of the Party in the municipality of Santiago de Cuba, described as fundamental supervision of cadres’ performance, with whom a constant link must be maintained. Permanent attention, she said, not only implies being aware of their professional issues, but also their personal problems, to accompany them in the most difficult moments, know their families and make sure they feel supported.
Federico Hernández Hernández, Party first secretary in the province of Granma, also shared his experience with the delegates to the 8th Congress. For him, work with cadres is not done one day and that's it, this is a permanent task, which must be sustained over time, he said. Teaching cadres, he said, implies reprimanding them when necessary, in addition to offering recognition when things are done well, because this is also a way of developing the country’s future leaders.
Roberto López Hernández, delegate from the province of Villa Clara, with years of experience in the Party’s ranks, commented, "One of the main problems we have had over the course of time has been that of implementation," hence his insistence on putting into practice the ideas included in the document that was meant to guide the Commission’s work. "Success lies in how we manage and execute it."
The experience of the Revolutionary Armed Forces with the Party Cadre Policy was also addressed in Commission No.3. Major General Raul Acosta Gregorich, commanding officer of the Western Army, spoke about the rigor with which the policy is implemented: the evaluation and follow-up system, the preparation of officers to assume positions, the strictly established timelines for this purpose and the accountability of officers responsible for the preparation of their subordinates.
In the more than twenty remarks and opinions shared, reflecting experiences in many provinces and organizations around the country, issues emerged related to the following: acts of corruption involving cadres at different levels; the flagrant violation committed when a cadre is involved in such an event is subsequently placed in another leadership position; superficial evaluations of cadres; the movements of cadres from one position to another, without verification of their previous work; the need to be combative in the face poor performances; and the ongoing ideological development of cadres.
Commission No.3, chaired by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, is composed of 94 delegates, including President Díaz-Canel; Army Corps General Álvaro López Miera, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces; and Miriam Nicado García, Rector of the University of Havana, all members of the Political Bureau.