President Fidel Castro was re-elected on Saturday (20 December) to lead the Cuban Communist Party for a further five years.
GV INT Cuban President Fidel Casto and party delegates casting ballot (Mute)
GV EXT.PAN. Crowd gathered in Havana Square
CU Castro speaking in Spanish (3 shots)
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Background: President Fidel Castro was re-elected on Saturday (20 December) to lead the Cuban Communist Party for a further five years. His brother Raul continues as his deputy. The party leadership was considerably broadened, with the Political Bureau expanded from 13 members to 16 full members and 11 candidate-members.
SYNOPSIS: President Castro led 1,772 party congress delegates in the election of a new Central Committee. In turn, the new Central Committee then met to elect the new Political Bureau. Nobody was dropped from its ranks, instead three new full members were added. The new members are Jorge Risquet Valdes, who is already a member of the Party Secretariat; Julio Camacho Aguilera, the first secretary of the Havana City Party organisation; and Osmany Cienfuegos Gorrianran, who is Vice-President of the Council of Ministers.
Later, more than a million Cubans gathered in Havana's Revolution Square to express their support for the decisions of the Congress. They heard President Castro warn of the real danger of an American invasion. He said that Cuba must organise popular militias and he urged all citizens to devote part of their spare time and holidays to a military training programme. Dr. Castro said that the election of Mr. Ronald Reagan as President marked the arrival of reactionary and extreme rightist forces and that Cuba, and its neighbours, Grenada, Nicaragua and El Salvador, all faced the threat of invasion.
Referring to the Party Congress, President Castro said the two main points which emerged in the discussions were defence and production. He said Cuba planned to produce between 20 and 25 percent more sugar over the next five years. Sugar is Cuba's leading export. Production during the last five years is believed to have totalled about 35 million tonnes. President Castro predicted an annual growth rate of five percent. This compares to four percent a year during the five-year period now ending, when growth was planned to average six percent annually.