Formula for Perpetuity

The brothers Fidel and Raul Castro

One of the common elements that traditionally defines the concept of “a Republic” is regular turn over in the elected positions. In Cuba there are periodic elections for all positions in the State bodies. However, the “maximum leaders” of the communist and revolutionary leadership have remained in power for more than 51 years.

The Head of State is called the President of the Republic, not to be confused with the position of Prime Minister, or President of the Government. However, the Head of State could be at the same time the Head of Government. This type of Republic is said to have a system of presidential government.  This is the case in the U.S. and Chile.

In the constitutional model of the Cuban government the position of president of the Republic does not exist.  Nevertheless, as in the systems of Presidential government there is a Head of State who is, at the same time, the Head of the Government; responsibilities assumed by the President of the Councils of State and of the Ministers.

His election is the responsibility of the National Assembly of People’s Power, and is of an indirect type. Parliament, upon establishing itself as a new legislature, elects from among its deputies the members of the State Council and its leader.

The term of office of the Cuban Head of State and Government is the same as the State Council entrusted by parliament. It expires every five years when the new body takes office, following periodic elections and turnover of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

The Cuban Constitution of 1976 provides that there is a regular term of office for the position of Head of State and Government. However, in its 34 years, and six changes of the legislature, the office has been occupied by only two people. The brothers Fidel and Raul Castro.

Fidel Castro was in charge of the country’s leadership from 1959 when he came into power with the victory of the socialist revolution until July 31, 2006, when, due to an intestinal hemorrhage, he delegated provisionally power to his brother Raul, who holds power to this day.

This is because the Cuban Constitution does not limit the number of re-elections that may occur for the Cuban Head of State and Government, after completing his first term. An omission very convenient to perpetuate themselves in power.

Laritza Diversent

Translated by ricote

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