Formula for Confirmation

Understanding Cuban socialism is like solving an arithmetic problem without using logic. Mainly because its concepts and definitions don’t coincide with those traditionally used in political science. The current leadership has its own dictionary.

For example, Raul Castro, in his August 2009 speech before the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), said: “I was not elected president to restore capitalism in Cuba or to surrender the revolution. I was elected to defend, maintain, and continue to improve socialism, not to destroy it.”

If you heard that statement from the mouth of a head of state and government anywhere else in the world, you would understand that he had been elected by his people in popular elections. In Cuba this is not true. We are distinguished for being the exception to the rule.

The President of the Councils of State and Ministers is elected by the ANPP. Therefore, when the younger Castro refers to those who elected him, think of only 609 people — the number of members who exercised the right to vote, representing over 11 million Cubans.

Was the General of the Army opposed in the elections? Were there several candidates running for the leadership of the state and government? No, he was the only candidate. In Cuba there is only one political party, and although “the Cuban Communist Party does not participate in the electoral process,” its leader is the logical candidate for the position. Raul Castro is the Second Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party. The First Secretary is his ailing brother, who has almost disappeared from the political scene.

The candidacy for President of the Councils of State and Ministers, like those for all other offices and positions of the Council of State, is from a locked and sealed list. They nominate only as many candidates as there are positions to be filled.

Add to that the fact that they also use the little formula of the united vote to guarantee the 50% plus one of the votes necessary to secure the position. This type of electoral ballot prevents the voter from voting selectively and preferentially. So when Raul Castro says “election,” you should understand “confirmation.”

Laritza Diversent

Translated by: Tomás A.

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