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Enough with the Charades, Cuba Deserves Free Elections

Enough with the Charades, Cuba Deserves Free Elections / Cubanet,
Roberto Jesus Quinones
Posted on April 18, 2015, Roberto Jesus Quinones Haces, Guantanamo, 17 April 2015 –
Coming up on April 19 there will be “elections.” Many countrymen ask
about the changes that the Electoral Law will introduce.

The most democratic electoral law in the world?

In Cuba there are no elections, just votes. There are no elections
because in order to elect there must be different platforms, and here
only one is legal. Absolutely all the delegates and deputies respond to
this; that’s why it does not matter for whom you vote.

Every time one of the People’s Party (which is the “people’s” in name
only) elections approaches, the official media overwhelm us citing the
supposed blessings of our electoral law, according to them the most
democratic in the world.

It is an illusion. The only supposedly democratic thing in our electoral
system is the election of candidates as district delegates. It’s true
that the residents of each of the zones into which the district is
divided elect a candidate through a direct and public vote, but that is
the visible tip of the iceberg. The hidden part is comprised of the
multiple meetings of “the community revolutionary elements” – i.e.,
Party members, “combatants” (former soldiers), leaders of the Committees
for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Cuban Women’s Federation
(FMC), etc – where those attending are directed how to block any
candidacy unwanted by the regime and who to vote for.

The people that staff the polling stations are subordinate to the
government. They count the votes and give the results to the
stakeholders who are present at each polling station, but there exists
no access by the people to the vote count in the Municipal Electoral
Commission, which receives the results from each polling station in the
district and reports who was elected.

The delegate as well as his voters lack any real power to make decisions
and transform his neighborhood, and it is for that reason that the
former has turned into a mere complaint clerk.

Finally, 50% of the delegates to the Provincial Assemblies from the
People’s Power and the same percentage of the deputies that make up the
National Assembly are not elected by the people but “handpicked” by the
official Candidates Commission. In these assemblies there will never be
a decent, hard-working and patriotic Cuban who disagrees with Communist
ideology. So what is the democracy of this law?

A Cuba “with all and for the good of all”

The Constitution of 1976 in its preamble declares that it is the will of
the government that the law of laws be presided over by the profoundly
Martí desire to make the first law of our Republic be the worship by
Cubans of the full dignity of man.

Article 1 states: “Cuba is a socialist state of workers, independent and
sovereign, organized with all and for the good of all, as a united and
democratic republic for the enjoyment of political liberty, social
justice, individual and collective well-being and human solidarity.”

The drafters of the socialist magna carta deemed that such desire was
fulfilled. But reality, more stubborn than any triumphalist sentence,
proves that the Cuban state is not organized “with all and for the good
of all,” as José Martí dreamed, but for the “Revolutionaries.” The other
citizens are excluded, jailed and discriminated against. Reality
demonstrates that a single political party supplanted the State and
controls everything, prohibiting the existence of any other organization
of that kind.

In such conditions there is neither democracy nor political liberty.
There is no social justice because in order to access certain jobs and
higher education, loyalty to the Communist Party and the Revolution is
demanded and because increasingly the State abandons the elderly, the
disabled and low income people.

There is no individual well-being because workers receive miserable
wages and have to buy basic products in a currency other than that in
which they are not paid and that is worth 25 times more. There is no
collective well-being because public services degrade further every day,
and health and education are in a precarious state. There is no human
solidarity because there is physical assault and intolerance in the face
of diversity, as was demonstrated once again at the recent Summit of the
Americas. Of what full dignity of man do the Communists speak?

What many Cubans do want

What many Cubans do want is to enjoy the same civil and political rights
that the citizens of 34 other countries in the continent have.

They want to decentralize the State’s absolute power and to build
democracy from the neighborhood up because sovereignty lies with the
people, and they have to have the means to express it. For that reason
it is spurious for a leader who has not been elected by ordinary people
to make a decision or to believe that he expresses the interests of an
entire people without consulting the opinion of the citizens.

Cubans want to elect people who really represent them at the different
levels of government and are not merely uncritically consenting.

They want all the delegates to the provincial assemblies of the People’s
Power and the deputies to the National Assembly of the People’s Power to
be elected in their districts through direct and secret vote, publicly
verified, and that the same occur with those who lead those government
organs and other important offices like prosecutors, tribunals and
police units.

They want to choose the political program that most satisfies them and
to elect their president in multi-party elections supervised by
international agencies.

That is the desire of the majority of Cubans, and as long as it is not
fulfilled, the Communists should have the decency not to talk about
elections or democracy.

Source: Enough with the Charades, Cuba Deserves Free Elections /
Cubanet, Roberto Jesus Quinones | Translating Cuba –

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