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Party Prepares Itself for Next Elections

September 7, 2011 1 comment

The Communist Party of Cuba works arduously to realize a full identity between its members and those of the government, and to guarantee that its politics are approved unanimously in the National Assembly, the body that represents and expresses the will of more than 11 million Cubans.

The sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba was the beginning of the preparations, of the partisan organization, for the next general elections. The goal is to renew state bodies for the new term of office that begins in 2013.

The Communist Party of Cuba is the only political organization that is recognized as legal within the Cuban system. The Constitution of 1976 recognizes it as “the superior ruling force of Cuban society and of the Government” and even though it does not participate in the elections, its leaders need to also be candidates for national deputies, which will later make up the state bodies.

During the closure of the partisan congress, last April, a National Conference was announced for the next January 28, months before the beginning of preparations for the electoral process.

One of the top subjects the Communists will touch on in their meeting is, “…the policy of party leaders as political leaders as well as in institutions and organizations”. Something very convenient for National Deputies’ candidacy projects, who prepare and present representatives of social and mass organizations*.

In view of the holding of this meeting, between May 20 and July 13, the Assemblies for Balance of the Party* at that level, were carried out in the 15 provinces. These meetings are still in progress in the 169 municipalities of the country.

The debate process is now inverted, from top to bottom and with only one explanation. In 2012 the electoral process must be executed. First will come the elections for delegates who make up the Municipal Assemblies, and once these are established, those for Provincial Delegates and later those for National Deputies who make up the  government bodies.

The deputy candidates are presented for nomination at the Municipal Assemblies by the Candidacy Committees from different levels. Then they are nominated by the recently established Municipal assemblies and elected by citizens.

The candidacy Committees are made up of representatives from the Center for Workers of Cuba (CTC), the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), the University Student Federation (FEU) and from the Secondary Education Student Federation (FEEM).

However, several of the maximum leaders of these organizations, aside from being deputies and members of the State Council, are also members of the Communist Party of Cuba. Salvador Valdés Mesa, secretary general of the CTC, is a member of the Political Bureau. Yolanda Ferrer Gómez, secretary general of the FMC, and Orlando Lugo Fonte, President of the ANAP, are both part of the Central Committee.

At this time, 20 of the 31 members of the State Council are on the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and 72% of the party members, are deputies. There is no doubt the level of coincidence will increase with the next Parliamentary mandate, as the highest expression of the one party system, the concentration of power, characteristic of the socialist democracy.

*Translator’s note:
Party Assemblies at the level of each province, whose subject was the debate and evaluation of common practices and policies, with the goal of improving these.

Translated by: Claudia D.

August 15 2011

Response of Laritza Diversent to Two Readers

August 8, 2011 Leave a comment

In Cuba, my unknown homeland, published on January 3rd, 2010, a reader who signed under the name of Philipp, and who, because of the flag shown, must live in Germany, left the following comment on August 3rd, 2011.

“A question remains: this I don’t understand…How is it possible that you have a blog (meaning you have access to the internet) and that you don’t have the possibility of making a trip with Astro, staying at a private house for national tourists, or any of the other camping sites of the many that exist in your beautiful country?

“I imagine that keeping this blog is at least as expensive as a trip similar to the one I described.

“Traveling around Cuba I met a bunch of Cubans traveling through their own country, in fact I found more Cuban tourists than foreigners. Can you explain this please?

“Thank you very much, warm regards.”

Since my internet time ran out, preventing me from commenting on the blog, I e-mailed the comment to the independent journalist Tania Quintero. Tania lives in Switzerland as a political refugee and along with the Portuguese friend Carlos Moreira, does Iván and me the favor of administering the blog From Havana, in their free time and without charging us a cent. Thus, the explanation that follows does not refer to this blog, but to Laritza’s Laws, blog that I manage all by myself and that I cannot keep as updated as I would want.

Mr. Philipp: I don’t doubt that you have seen many Cubans touring their country, entering the classification of “national tourism”, but they have to pay with hard currency, meaning, in convertible pesos. Keeping a blog from Cuba is not as expensive as making a trip throughout the entire island, especially if one knows the technological possibilities that the web provides, in order to program in advance all of the works that have to be uploaded.

I can’t always connect to the internet once a week, from a hotel, at a price of 15 convertible pesos (cuc), a price that in national currency would be enough to do a roundtrip with Astro, paying for the service in Cuban pesos, the way you suggest, in order to support the economy, and ignoring the time that I have to waste standing in lines, which I hope you have seen in Cuba.

Back to the topic of internet. With 15 cuc I can acquire a card for two hours of internet access in a Havana hotel.

My work begins at home, when I write the text in Word 2007. Then I use a template that allows me to publish it, once connected to the internet, along with images, directly to my blog or as a draft. Then I open the blog (Laritza’s Laws) and I only have to program it so that it comes out at the chosen date.

Internet cards are one of the best gifts a friend from abroad or a traveler to Havana can make to a blogger. In that sense, I am very lucky: thanks to that help, those 15 cuc that a card costs, I can use to buy food for my family or a pair of shoes for my son.

I hope my explanation can help you understand that traveling through Cuba is much more expensive than keeping a blog.

With a long delay on this case, I take this opportunity to respond to Anteco, a Spanish reader, whom I invite to coffee in my house, if he ever travels to Havana one day. These are his words:

“I have just discovered this blog, and from the few entries I have read, without a doubt this one is very moving and gives an idea of the sad reality of Cuba. I am a Spaniard in love with your country (which I have never been to) and with a great curiosity to get to know one day the Cuban people. However, I would have never imagined that the restrictions of the Castro regime reached that point. It seems that the wonders of your island are limited to the enjoyment of the rich foreign tourists, a contradiction-come-true in a communist regime. I hope there is soon freedom in Cuba.”

Read also: Daughter of the revolution and Why did you make me a dissident?

Picture: It is from 2009, in the Saratoga Hotel, when Laritza was managing the blog Laritza’s Laws which she later decided to call Cuban Legal Advisor.

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Translated by: Claudia D. 

August 6 2011

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