The long delayed VI Congress of the Cuban Communist Party took place on April 16-19 in Havana and discussed the Guidelines on Economic and Social Policy for the Party and the Revolution. The Congress was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the attempted Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, when Fidel Castro proclaimed the “socialist character of the revolution”.

The Cuban Revolution had always caught my attention. How was it possible for a planned economy to survive on a small island, less than 90 miles from the most powerful imperialist country on earth? Why didn't Cuba fall in the early 1990's together with the Soviet Union? What is the current situation in the island and what are the perspectives for the future?

Wednesday 3 November in Havana marked the start of a three day conference on “Socialism in the XXI century” organized by “Cuba, theory and society” under the auspices of the Havana Institute of Philosophy. Among a small number of foreign guest speakers was the editor of Marxist.com, Alan Woods. We publish here the report written by Alan on his return.