Elio Delgado Legon
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.