Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cuban electoral system: we can speak about democracy

As democracy and human rights in Cuba are included in the list of US actions against the Revolution, the closeness of elections to be held in April 25 in the island, is an intensive anti-Cuban propaganda by the enemy.

Trying to denigrate the Cuban Revolution, they have affirmed that under the dictatorship of the Castro’s brothers, there is not democracy or freedom or elections in Cuba. The US Government has repeated this lie a thousand times, hoping to make it true.

With increasing strength the capitalist world defends its idea of democracy, but their actions are inconsistent with their words, by the existence of mechanisms that restrict most popular participation in government issues, and believed the false image of freedom to choose representatives, only because the centre of representative democracy is competition between contenders for power; a circus armed around to the polls, in which the people have no liability whatsoever to the election.

What really defines the possibility of involvement by the people in government is what happens in Cuba. Our model differs from others, but its primary objective is that each citizen should feel an important part of society, under equal conditions and opportunities.

A Spanish journalist summed up the nature of the Cuban electoral system, and the points that argue why Cubans can speak on democracy.

1. Membership is universal, automatic and free for all citizens eligible to vote, from 16 years of age.

2, The nomination of candidates is made directly by the voters themselves at public assemblies (in the so-called democratic countries are the political parties that nominate the candidates).

3. There are no discriminatory election campaigns, offensive, defamatory, manipulated or millionaire campaigns.

4. Elections are transparent. The ballot boxes are guarded by children and young pioneers, as they are sealed in the presence of the population, and the counting is done publicly, and can engage the national and foreign press, diplomats, tourists and all the people in general.

5. Requirement that all are elected by the majority. The candidate is only elected if he gets over 50% of the valid votes cast. If this result is not achieved in the first round, candidates that received the most votes, will go into the second round.

6. The vote is free, equal and secret. All Cuban citizens have the right to elect and be elected. As no party lists, one votes directly for the candidate you want.

7. All representative bodies of state power are elected and renewable.

8. All those elected must job performance accountability to voters for their actions.

9 All those elected can be recalled at any time during their mandate.

10. The deputies and delegates are not professionals and therefore not paid a salary.

11. Deputies to the National Assembly (Parliament) are elected for a term of 5 years.

12. The integration of the Parliament is representative of the most diverse sectors of Cuban society.

13. One deputy is elected for every 20,000 inhabitants, or fraction greater than 10,000. All municipal territories are represented in the National Assembly, and the core base of the system, the constituency, actively participates in its composition. Each municipality elects at least two deputies, and from that figure, are selected proportionately as many deputies as there are inhabitants. 50% of the deputies must be delegates from the constituencies, who have to live in the territory of the same.

14. The National Assembly elects from its deputies, the State Council and the Chairman. The President of the State Council, is Head of State and Head of Government. This means that the head of the Cuban government has to undergo two elections: first be elected as MP by the people, for the direct and secret vote; and then by the other Members, also by the free, direct and secret vote.

15. As the National Assembly is the Supreme Organ of state power and legislative, executive and judicial functions are subordinated to it, the Head of State and Government can not dissolve it.

16. The legislative initiative belongs to many factors in society, not only deputies, the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor, but also of trade unions, students, women, social and individual citizens, requiring them to exercise in this case legislative initiative at least 10 000 citizens who are eligible voters.

17. The laws are subject to majority vote of the Deputies. The specifics of the Cuban method is that a law does not take the discussion of the Whole until, through repeated consultation with deputies, and taking into account the proposals they have made, is clearly shown that there is majority consent for discussion and approval. The application of this concept acquires greater relevance when it comes to public participation, along with the deputies, in the analysis and discussion of strategic issues. On those occasions the Parliament moves to the workplace, students and peasants coming true direct democracy and participatory.

The main quality of the Cuban political system is its capacity for continuous improvement, depending on the needs presented to perform a full, true and systematic participation of the people in the direction and control of society, the essence of any democracy.

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