Opponents Lose Local Elections in Cuba

Voting.  Photo: juventudrebelde.cu
Voting. Photo: juventudrebelde.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Two Cuban dissidents out of a total of more than 27,000 candidates nationwide, who ran to become neighborhood representatives in Cuba’s local elections on Sunday, were not elected, announced the candidates themselves, reported dpa news.

Hildebrand Chaviano, a 65-year-old lawyer, and Yuniel Lopez, a 26-year-old member of the banned opposition group “Partido Cuba Independiente y Democrática,” said they both came in second in their respective constituencies.

Unable to campaign by law, Chaviano and Lopez, were described as “counterrevolutionaries” in official biographies offered by the authorities as they aspired to be among the more than 12,000 new delegates to the Popular Assemblies of People’s Power.

“I am out of the race,” Chaviano told dpa in a conversation after learning the first ballot count in his central Havana neighborhood of the Plaza de la Revolución municipality.

However, Chaviano felt that he got a “significant amount” of support from the 138 people who gave him their vote, according to figures received from the authorities. Chaviano said there appeared to be no voting irregularities.

Lopez, however, who aspired to be a delegate in the Arroyo Naranjo municipality in south-central Havana, believes there were irregularities at his polling station in the cancellation of several ballots in her favor as well as the “campaign against him” in the days leading up to the vote. According to her testimony, the voters of his district were warned not to vote for her.

The unusual candidacies of the two opponents came amid the process of restoring diplomatic relations initiated by the United States and Cuba four months ago.

In the one page biographies posted with a small photo in the weeks before the elections, the Cuban authorities described Chaviano and Lopez as “counterrevolutionaries” with ties to anti-government organizations abroad.

The candidates to be delegates, with a chance to become members of the municipal assemblies, are selected in neighborhood committee meetings and are then subjected to a vote on election day. Cuban law bans campaigning and the participation of political parties. The short biographies are the only information posted about the candidates.

The island is governed for over half a century ago by a one-party system with the Communist Party as the only authorized political party. Some eight million Cubans were called to the polls Sunday to elect 12,589 municipal delegates for the next two and a half years among 27,379 nominees nationwide.

A second round of voting takes place on April 26 in those constituencies where no candidate received more than 50 percent support.

15 thoughts on “Opponents Lose Local Elections in Cuba

  • April 26, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Again you show you don’t read just rant without any sense of control…did you know that Raul Castro because of term limits will not run again? Have you heard of Diaz Canel? Jeeez!

  • April 25, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Really? When was the last time a Castro or family member was termed out?

  • April 24, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Better than you did obviously….why is it that term limits have been instituted in Cuba? Because people have no voice? What voice do you have compared to Donald Trump? Use your neurons for something else than just filler…

  • April 21, 2015 at 10:55 am

    You misunderstand the political orientation of the Vancouver “non-partisan” political movement. The NPA is in fact just as partisan as any other party, in this case they are comprised of conservative to centre-right politicians. The NPA arose as a response to the socialist NDP. Conservatives and right of centre Liberals joined forces to defeat the left of centre NDP candidates. In response to the NPA, left-of centre politicians formed Vision Vancouver which included NDP, Green party and left-of-centre liberals.

    To relate this discussion back to Cuba, the Vancouver example demonstrates that even when politicians pretend to be “non-partisan”, they still are very much partisan creatures. The allegedly “non-partisan” elections in Cuba are overwhelmingly dominated by Communist Party candidates, chosen through a political system controlled by the Communist Party. As a result, the people “elected” through this process are highly partisan Communists.

  • April 21, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Elections at the local level in British Columbia are often “non-partisan,” but typically the candidates are members of political parties and when they graduate to the provincial or federal level they will reveal their political affiliation.
    Non-partisanship had an interesting effect in Vancouver. At one time there were two members of the Communist Party of Canada on Vancouver City Council. Harry Rankin was the most well known of the two. He became the highest vote getter among council members. He was widely known to be a supporter of the Communist Party, but that designation never appeared on the ballot.

  • April 20, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    war conditions? I was unaware there was a “war” against Cuba.

    In reality these communist countries always thin k there is a war on. In some respects it is a war, a war of ideas. A war these communist governments always lose, so of course they think they’re always besieged.

    I, as a Cuban, and any other Cuban you wish to ask, will tell you these elections are all a sham!

  • April 20, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Almost 350 words and yet you were still unable to address the story at hand!

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