General Elections in Cuba Sunday March 11th

Elio Delgado Legon

Voting in Cuba. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES – On Sunday, March 11, the second stage of the general elections will be held in Cuba, which, as every five years, calls citizens to vote to elect all the deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power (parliament), as well as well as the delegates to the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies. The latter are renewed every two and a half years.

In the first stage held at the end of last year the delegates to the Municipal Assemblies were elected and the national legislators and delegates to the Provincial Assemblies take place in this second stage.  I feel the need to explain this because the Cuban political system has been the subject of many erroneous interpretations, sometimes due to ignorance, but in most cases with the intention of discrediting our socialist government.

The enemies of the Revolution do not stop shouting that in Cuba there is no democracy, that the Cuban government is a dictatorship, that human rights are not respected. In short, everything that can create a bad image of the country’s institutions. They use the argument that citizens do not vote directly for the president and vice-presidents and that there are not several political parties competing to win the elections.

In the first place, Cuba is not the only country in the world where the elections to elect the main leaders are indirect. A wide representation of all the people is chosen to integrate the parliament, which this year is comprised of 605 deputies. Once constituted the National Assembly, its members choose among themselves by direct and secret vote its president, vice-president and secretary, and for the members of the State Council, which in turn at its first meeting, held immediately, elects the country’s president, the first vice president, the other vice presidents and the secretary of the Council of State.

As can be seen in what has been explained so far, the will of an individual does not prevail, but that of all the representatives of the people. And it is not like that because of the will of a person, but because that is what the Constitution dictates, which was approved by 98 percent of the voters.

There are no political parties because this was determined by the people when approving the Constitution, therefore, the candidates are not nominated by any party, but by the people themselves in neighborhood meetings, taking into account the moral and ethical qualifications of the candidates and the possibilities that they have to serve the interests of the people who nominate and elect them. This is in the local elections of the delegates to the municipal Assembly.


The nominations for provincial delegates and deputies to the National Assembly, come out of candidacy commissions in which all the mass organizations, which constitute civil society, are represented, presided over by a representative of the workers’ organization (the Cuban Workers Federation, CTC).

In these candidacies, it is a requirement that at least 50 percent of the candidates must have been elected delegates to the municipal Assembly, the rest are selected taking into account that all sectors of society are represented.

Comparing our political system with that which exists in many countries, where the leaders are often elected by less than 25 percent of the voters and only have limited contact with the people to ask for a vote and then forget the promises they made, ours is, by far, more democratic than the others.

Therefore, the accusations of a lack of democracy, of dictatorship and all the others that constantly appear in the reactionary media, have a single objective: to discredit our political system because it is not submissive to the dictates of imperialism and only responds to the dictates of his own people.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

11 thoughts on “General Elections in Cuba Sunday March 11th

  • March 13, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Mr Jarrell,
    Thank you for your comment.
    I would say that there is a form of democracy in Cuba which has it’s limitations.
    It is not multi party democracy so I would certainly take the point that some would view that as no democracy at all. We perhaps have differing points of view on that.
    Regarding anti gay discrimination I would agree with you.
    There was what you describe as a purge in the 1960s and there was also the disgraceful ’rounding up’ of HIV positive Cubans in the 1980s.
    I believe Fidel himself admitted that these were serious errors of judgement.
    Cuba has actually reformed a great deal in that specific regard and lgbt rights are currently much mere widely recognised than previously.
    Regarding Las Damas Blancas, I agree with people’s right to protest. That’s a tricky issue in Cuba. It is one of many countries in the world where freedom of speech is limited (certainly not the worst example). But when a group is clearly motivated to some extent by the funds they receive from an external power who is determined to undermine a sovereign nation………..?
    As I say, a tricky issue.

  • March 12, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Please accept my apology for jumping to a conclusion and for misattributing a viewpoint to you that you do not hold.

    While I take your point that democracy isn’t something that is either all or nothing. It’s that I don’t think there is any in Cuba. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Despite the limited elections Cuba remains a police state whose heads of state are only accountable to themselves. That is hardly what I’d call workable definition of democracy.

    As for Las Damas del Blanco. I don’t know if they’re on an American payroll. I won’t deny that there are interests in Washington and Miami eager to meddle in Cuba. At the same the Cuban government consistently smears dissidents and nonconformists as mercenaries bought and sold by US imperialism. During the infamous anti-homosexual purge of the 1960s Cuban homosexuals were accused of being in league with US imperialism. So pardon me if I think Cuban government accusations about Las Damas or any other dissident should be taken with a grain of salt. My point about the Las Damas is that their treatment by Cuban security police is an example of political repression that isn’t conducive to actual democracy.

  • March 12, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Mr Jarrell
    My statement regarding Cuba’s elections/democracy was: ‘From an objective point of view it’s probably fair to say that it is a less democratic process than that of many other countries’.
    I don’t really see how you interpret that to be lauding, apologising or justifying ??
    And I am most certainly not ‘OK’ with the famous Damas Blancas being ‘roughed up’.
    I don’t think any ‘roughing up’ is OK at all; any more than I think that the USA paying people to demonstrate in sovereign nations is OK.
    I don’t support government forces ‘roughing up’ anyone whether it is in Barcelona, on Wall St, at Orgreave or in Havana.

    My actual point is that democracy is perhaps not really a case of ‘you either got it or you ain’t’.
    That’s not the way the world works except perhaps in some sort of ‘good vs evil’ Hollywood style movie.
    I think there are other comments here which broadly agree with that point
    (eg:Ola, Colin).

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