Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:54am EDT
HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba said on Wednesday that a series of reforms ordered by new President Raul Castro will strengthen socialism and it will not tolerate attempts by the United States and local dissidents to subvert it.
"There is no space for the dreams of adversaries, internal mercenaries and fifth columnists," an editorial in the ruling Communist Party newspaper Granma said.
"There will be a more perfect socialism sustained and defended by a united people led by Fidel, Raul and the party's leadership," it said.
Cuba brands opponents to the one-party socialist state as mercenaries on the payroll of its ideological enemy, the United States, and frequently imprisons them.
There has been a marked increase in public debate and criticism under Raul Castro, who first temporarily stepped in as acting president in 2006 when his brother Fidel Castro underwent surgery from which he never fully recovered.
Since officially taking over in February as Cuba's first new leader in almost half a century, Raul Castro has lifted restrictions on Cubans using cellular telephones, staying at hotels and buying computers and DVD players.
He has also begun to decentralize agriculture to provide incentives to private farmers, and lift wage caps, among other measures.
A number of dissident organizations have condemned the moves as too little and too late, and are demanding freedom for political prisoners, a market-based economy and multi-party democracy.
The Granma editorial blasted a recent meeting in Miami of anti-Castro exiles, attended by U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and some east European diplomats, to discuss increasing support for dissidents in Cuba.
U.S. President George W. Bush recently said change was more important than stability in Cuba and some Florida politicians urged Cuban dissidents to hold street demonstrations, the newspaper noted.
The U.S. government doubled funding this year for Cuba's small and fractious dissident groups, which are illegal but tolerated to a certain degree.
(Reporting by Marc Frank; Editing by Kieran Murray)
Washington Post: Cuba Warns Foes That Recent Reforms Strengthen, Not Weaken, Socialism
Gramma: New Subversive US Plan vs. Cuba
Havana, Apr 16 (Prensa Latina) A report published in Gramma, number one daily circulating in the island, denounced that anti-revolutionary people met at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami on April 8, 2008 to discuss the execution of new actions against Cuba.
The official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, denounced the subversive plans against the stability of the country, conceived in the US as part of one more plan, which is predicted to fail.
Concerning the plan, Granma mentions a round table in which US officials invited embassies and consulates accredited to Washington calling on them to combine efforts and "involve themselves more with domestic opposition".
The report adds "there will be no space for subversion in Cuba", in coincidence with the 47th anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist character of Cuban Revolution.
President Fidel Castro has already affirmed it on his Reflection posted on June 17, 2007: "I assure you, they will never have Cuba".
US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and the ambassador of the Czech Republic in the US, Petr Kolar participated in that meeting that took place in Miami.