Democracy may be spreading in large parts of the world and with it genuine, contested elections–but not in Cuba.
Cubans “voted” again yesterday for the Cuban “National Assembly,” if one uses such terms very loosely. The Washington Post quotes Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez saying “It is a different electoral system. Personally I find it is more democratic than (others) I know.” This is offensive nonsense, because Cuba remains a one-party state where zero electoral competition is allowed. “Renouncing the principle of a single party would be equal to legalizing one or more imperialist parties,” Reuters reports Raul Castro saying last year.
So the system in Cuba is summed up by Reuters this way: “Reuters talked with more than half a dozen voters on Sunday before they entered the polls in Havana. None of them knew the candidates on the national slate from their districts.” And why should they, given that there is no competition and that the Communist Party, not the National Assembly, runs the country. As one voter said to Reuters, “I vote because I feel I have to, and it doesn’t really matter because the deputies have no power anyway.” Reuters also notes that this young woman “declined to give her name,” and no one has to wonder why.
Cuba remains a police state and one of the few communist dictatorships still in existence, and its fraudulent elections are an insult to the Cuban people. One can only hope that Cuba’s “different” system does not survive the Castros– Fidel, now 86, and Raul, now 81.