The 11.1 million Cubans have many economic problems, mostly derived from the U.S. blockade criminally imposed 61 years ago. And as they acknowledge, those problems to a lesser extent are the result of mistakes and limitations of their government and of a small portion of their population that, for example, raises prices.
Notwithstanding this concern for living day to day, Cubans have a high level of political awareness and a high cultural and educational base, fruit of the revolution and maintained to this day. A practical way to measure this commitment is to analyze how many people vote, who they vote for and with what hopes. The enemies of the revolution always curse the socialist system, accuse it of being dictatorial and promote boycotts. That was tried again this March 26 by the empire that lurks 90 miles away and the worms nesting in Miami; also by its public representatives and undercover agents of “Patria Sin Vida”, who promoted the violent riot of July 11, 2021. On that occasion they were unsuccessful and now, on the electoral date, they did not succeed either.
On March 26, Cubans went to vote to elect 470 representatives to the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP), their parliament. The government promoted “I vote for all”, while the enemies of the revolution bet on abstentionism. Alina Balseiro, head of the National Electoral Council (CEN), informed that the turnout was 75.96 percent: 6,164,876 people voted out of a census of 8,100,000. Valid votes were 90.28 percent, blank votes 6.22 and annulled votes 3.50. Voting took place in 23,648 polling stations without any violence, fraud or incidents. The ballot boxes were guarded by pioneer children, unlike in capitalist countries where the army and the police are armed.
On April 19, the tenth ANPP will be constituted, which will elect its board of directors, the Council of State and the president and vice-president of the country. The current president, Miguel Díaz Canel, could have his second five-year term. Whoever is democratically voted for the leading positions and the deputies of the ANPP, their task will be daunting due to the economic problems facing the country.
A criminal blockade
The US has already tried the military route with Cuba at the Bay of Pigs (April 1961) and it went badly. It also maintains the blockade, condemned since 1992 on thirty occasions by the UN General Assembly, without Washington abiding by the decision of the overwhelming majority of countries (last vote in 2022, 185 for Cuba and 2 against, the US and Israel). The damages caused to José Martí’s homeland at the time of that vote in New York amounted to 154.27 billion dollars, a fortune for any country. That blockade was intensified by the neo-Nazi Donald Trump with 243 reinforcement measures,which has maintained by his successor Joe Biden, demonstrating that when it comes to punishing worthy peoples, the two American parties have differences.
In addition to the blockade, since Ronald Reagan’s time, in 1982, the island was included in the list of countries sponsoring terrorism; that was maintained until the Obama administration, 2015, but was re implemented by Trump and Biden. The damage to Cuba is not so much political, because most of the world knows it is an atrocious lie. It is known that the island is the victim of American terrorism (638 attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, bombing of the Cubana plane over Barbados in 1976 with 73 dead, attacks and bombings with 3,048 Cubans killed and 2,099 wounded). The damage is mainly financial, because being included in this list of “terrorist states” prevents or seriously hinders credit operations and financing of the island’s economy.
That is why the current and future Cuban authorities are going to have a very difficult time, as has been the norm in these 64 years of revolution. And even more so in times of world inflation, NATO’s war in Ukraine against Russia, rising energy and food prices, rising interest rates and other consequences that affect the world. In spite of everything, the island Cuba should be somewhat better off, because the GDP growth forecast for Latin America in 2023 is only 1.3 percent, while Cuba’s Minister of Economy, Alejandro Gil Fernández, is predicting a target of 3 percent.
In the struggle to improve the economy and the standard of living of the population, the authorities are aware that they must raise the quality of their government. Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz, who visits cities like Díaz Canel, declared that they must overcome “self-bureaucracy, inefficiencies and bureaucracy”. Bureaucratism is a disease to be cured and for that they unfortunately do not have the five vaccines they were able to manufacture against COVID-19.
A beautiful democracy
Apart from the lying campaigns of the empire and its international press agencies, seconded in Argentina by Clarín, La Nación and Desinfobae, the elections in Cuba have been hyper-democratic. For imperialism and its oligarchic allies in each country, they went unnoticed. They did not have a minute or a word in the media. They were made invisible. Perhaps because they could not show them and continue talking about “communist dictatorship”.
The turnout was very high: 1.8% higher than the referendum on the Family Code and 7.36% more than in the last municipal elections. And this is a non-compulsory election: voting is voluntary, from the age of 16.
There were many young candidates: 94 of both sexes between 18 and 35 years of age, out of the 470 ANPP positions. It was also very high percentage of women: 55.3% of the total, improving the already high percentage of the ninth ANPP, of 2018, when females were 53 percent. Cuba ranks second in the world for parliaments with the most women (Rwanda first). The island is coming along very well in the fight against the colonial male dominated hegemony. And they are revolutionary women, not like Patricia Bullrich, Elisa Carrió, María E. Vidal, Victoria Villarruel and other Argentine deniers of the crimes of State terrorism during the dictatorship, for example.
Democracy is not plutocracy
Imperialism and the world right wing accuses the Cuban elections of being manipulated by the Communist Party of Cuba, a single party. They say that this would not be democratic; only a multi-party system would be democratic. That the PCC manipulates the elections is a total lie because the candidates are nominated by the neighbors, in their neighborhoods, unions and CTC, Women’s Federation, etc. They propose, not the Party. And then they are voted or not in democratic municipal, provincial and national elections.
Besides being an electoral system from the bottom up, very democratic and plural, it has another great advantage: it is very cheap. There is no propaganda expenditure, which is usually millions of dollars in capitalist countries. On the island, at most the candidates draw up a brief résumé and post it in the neighborhood or college. The Cuban state does not have the enormity of expenditures in each election, as in Argentina. “In the 2021 legislative elections, 127 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 24 in the Senate will be renewed. They will demand from the Government a stipulated cost of 17,171,091,891 pesos” (Noticias Argentinas, 4/10/2020).
Another notable difference in favor of the Cuban system is that those elected to the ANPP continue with their usual occupations and do not receive a salary for being a legislator. This saves money and, above all, it connects the representatives with their constituents, since they live as usual, in their neighborhood and from their profession or trade. In Argentina, deputies were paid 500 thousand pesos per month in November 2022, plus perks, secretarial positions, airplane tickets, etc. Do they do much for the Argentine people? It is not noticeable, due to the low quality of their laws and the low number of sessions. The former is illustrated by the agreement signed with the IMF, endorsed by Congress in March 2022, which legalized a fraudulent debt and deepened an adjustment against the people. The second is that they work very little: in 2022, the Chamber of Deputies met 14 times and the Senate only 12, the lowest record of the last years. The laziest of all is the fascist Javier Milei, who in almost four years as a deputy had 5 positive votes, 20 negative votes and missed 41 sessions.
Regarding the question of whether democracy should be multiparty, it must be said that what is important in a democracy is its social and class content, rather than the number of groupings. The U.S. democracy is bipartisan, because between Democrats and Republicans they eat all the cake. Furthermore, as Fidel Castro has been denouncing since March 1960 (speech before the Militias and before the attack on the ship Le Coubre) that the Yankee system was a plutocracy, the democracy of the rich. He repeated it in a message in 1988. And he hit the nail on the head because in the sworn declarations of the 534 members of the Capitol in 2012 it was corroborated that 268 of them, (50.2 percent) were worth more than one million dollars. Only 2 percent came from the working class. That is a plutocracy, not a democracy.
Democracy does not depend on the number of parties but on content, programs, concrete government plans and leaderships that fulfill what they say (the liar and former Argentine Carlos Menem admitted that “If I said what I was going to do, they would not vote for me”).
If Cuba has only one party it is because its socialism is Martiano. Cuba’s national hero José Martí founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party (PRC) in April 1892 and called for unity. The party led by Fidel, in the continuity of the struggles for independence, before the Spanish metropolis and then from the bad Yankee neighbor, also required unity as an indispensable condition. That is why in the socialist island there is only one party. Communist, Martiano and Fidelista, it is worth much more than the two-party plutocracy nested in Washington and the hundreds of bourgeois parties that obey their orders in the semicolonies and dependent capitalist countries.
note: I dedicate this article to our dear comrade Mario Alberto Díaz, member of the Argentine Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MASCUBA Córdoba), who passed away a year ago, on a day like today.
Source: Cuba en Resumen
You must be logged in to post a comment.