Cuba has established a military capability that gives it protection from an invasion or an attempted overthrow of the regime. It also has achieved several developmental goals, and it has institutionalized the revolution. This strength and sense of security could enable Cuba—if the United States were interested in negotiations—to accommodate important US interests. The party congress is the main policymaking assembly of the Cuban Communist party. Made up of delegates from party units throughout the country, the congress serves to assess how well the political and economic goals established at the prior congress were met. Cuba's relationship with the Soviet Union brought it into the socialist economic bloc. This new set of international trading partners replaced those that had vanished when US-led Western nations closed their markets. As with any ties, the links to the East have had particular effects on Cuban development.