The Ritual of Voting in Castro’s Cuba

By Frank Simon

Raul Castro voting in the local elections last year. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Being the president of Cuba, whether the meaning of this word (first citizen) actually applies on this island, means holding the strings of hundreds of zones of influence.

International politics still don’t measure the scope of this dark and hidden seat, of this hand which can reach where very few people can. In fact, the structure of the Cuban system is so powerful that the island’s own economy can’t even finance it and goes beyond its imagination.

This isn’t just a position that has been filled for five or ten years, but rather a position of privilege (which has been for a long time), and it is called “the honey of power” for good reason. This position has been usurped by one surname for nearly sixty years.

Therefore, you can perfectly understand the arguments about the misnamed “general elections” of the equally misnamed “Republic of Cuba”. A process where there are only votes, but the path ahead is the same: the perpetuity of backwardness, the lack of civil liberties and the rise in social inequality based on a system of corrupt classes.

The political weight isn’t as important as the heavy weight of the manu militari, as Cuba is like every other good Latin American country where you either rule alongside the army or the army itself rules. This is how the socialist revolution, which philosophers like Sartre likened to a kind of hurricane in the middle of sugar plantations and the sweetness of equity, ran amok.

In April, Raul Castro’s successor should take office, but nobody is talking about elections. TVs go hoarse repeating the same images of awful ID cards with the same biographies of the same people (National Assembly candidates). Nobody is proposing anything, nothing is happening, nothingness is filling the country and emptying it of residents. Cuban citizenship is so devalued that many prefer to leave and become subjects of the old Bourbons, who are more permissive these days, more postmodern, and more open than the firm Castro hand which governs.

One of the Cuban Five’s wives took to Facebook to call for her man to become a legislator, but she then had to take the comments off her wall and say that it never happened, that it was just another of Imperialism’s lies.

The agents, who endorsed the Battle of Ideas (Fidel’s campaign) from their jail cells in the US where they had internet access, were political activists, intellectuals and artists, and if that wasn’t enough, they are aspiring to do more in this mismanaged future of ours.

They are the Elian Gonzalez’s who grab hold of the regime’s sunken raft and suck the last bit of life out of it, making it their livelihood. These Elians could have given up information to the United States, have stayed there, been prosperous, say whatever they wanted to say, live in a plural country and without double standards, but they chose the island of immorality and fakeness and that’s what they and their families are mixed up in.

Why do they want to be legislators? It isn’t for the seat, it isn’t a seat, but what can lead to that seat or more. Looking for positions in the Communist Party before it becomes something else, to march with the Caribbean perestroika who make the rich rich and the poor poor, like always. That’s why there was the war against the middle class in 1959, to hijack it, to sink it and to take away their riches in pursuit of a parasitic and totalitarian prosperity that came to us with the fairytale of Soviet socialism.

In Cuba, just like in the Soviet Union, there is only one party and nothing should move outside of this phonograph that plays the same-old bolero over and over again: “you’ll stay because I give you love and affection.”

While the electoral farce is taking place in schools and counting the votes validates the regime’s method, Raul Castro’s military group will get richer. Mariela Castro, throwing fits in the face of Trump’s policies, can only be explained by the fact that they affect the private capital she enjoys. A family which, like so many of the nomenclature, didn’t fire a single shot yet drink from the chalice of power.

It doesn’t matter, there will always be a journalist, like those on the nightly Roundtable program, to validate the best elections in the world, where the same person wins, where nobody else has been put forward in 60 years, because we have to follow the Guidelines of a Party or the ideas of a dead fundamentalist leader. The failure of the Cuban socialist project is so obvious today, that it seems childlike to even point it out, you can see it everywhere you go.

The fact that there isn’t a trace of democracy in Cuba isn’t justified by the US embargo or the Cold War, on the contrary, the carbon copy of Soviet and icy societies in Eastern Europe responds to the regime’s own narcissist and brutal needs.

The absurdity about this dictator is that he will never fulfil his mission, even if he does away with elections, because he wants us all to think like him. However the poor misfortunate who were born under the Castro Ayatola’s religious aegis still have a little freedom left. The tyrant ends up embodying the most unsuccessful character when he resigns himself to his oppressed subjects’ silence and with the booming cry of a future that he will burn at the stake.

Cuba isn’t free, but it will be, whether they want it to be or not, because Cuba has to be free. These elections where a spy’s wife is claiming a legislative seat for her husband, under which the Cuban civic spirit has had to suffer, will be swept away.

Once Eddy Chibas’  cry of shame against money is heard in the distance, the rescuing of the Cuban republic will have begun.  

A woman makes some noise and the TV shows photos of ID cards but nothing is happening, elections? polls? The lies are far too evident.


2 thoughts on “The Ritual of Voting in Castro’s Cuba

  • Good article. When you hear the same music over and over again for the last 59 years, then it’s time to change the tune. Cuba has to change so that the young ones have hope and optimism for a better future!

  • The pain, anger and disappointment of the post writer, Frank Simon is palpable. Sentences like this one: “the perpetuity of backwardness, the lack of civil liberties and the rise in social inequality based on a system of corrupt classes.” points to his disgust of Cuba’s farcical democracy. Nonetheless, like so many of us with whom hope for Cuba springs eternal, Frank Simon appears to remain optimistic. He also writes: “Cuba isn’t free, but it will be, whether they want it to be or not, because Cuba has to be free.” I hope that he is right. 

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