Return to FactFile Any one of the deputies to Cuba's parliament, including Fidel Castro, are subject to recall at any time and must by law report back to mass meeting in their constituency once every six months. If Castro is such a dictator, why did he receive such overwhelming support in the elections? Why is it also that his position as the country's President is decided by parliament and that members of his government are also voted in by parliament?
Here are some essential facts about the 1993 Elections to the National Assembly.
The Cuban elections were the occasion for a massive show of resistance and unity in face of the US blockade.
99% of the electorate voted
7% of the ballots were spoiled.
Of the 589 deputies, 80% of them were elected for the first time. Their average age is 43.
77% are men and 23% are women
59 of the deputies are peasants or agricultural workers.
46 are industrial or manual workers.
23 are trades union leaders.
25 are intellectual, artists and journalists.
29 are teachers and specialists, 10 are secondary and university student leaders.
Note to embolding - That's how elections work in a dictatorship!!! I had an interesting chat with my East German colleague about "elections" in the German Democratic Republic. This is how elections worked:
Attendance was compulsory - if you didn't turn up, "your name vent on ze list"
The ballot paper was arranged (as it was in the SU) with a list of candidates. To disapprove of a candidate, you had to cross one of the names off. There was a booth with a curtain, but if you went to it, "your name vent on ze list".
You were presented with your ballot paper in front of a Stazi officer, and you were expected to immediately fold it and put it in the box next to you, thereby showing your support for the Party, the System, and the DDR. Any hesitation could result in "your name goink on ze list". Later, people whose names vere on ze list could be visited by the stasi...
Come proper democracy, some of the older people didn't understand that you now had to put a cross next to the candidate that you didn't want, and still just wanted to put their unmarked ballot paper in the box. They even tried to explain to the election officials that they were giving their support for whomever the party had chosen - they hadn't quite grasped the whole concept of more than one party....
Funny you should mention the GDR where I work we have quite a large library including publications from the east. The language is the same everything that's good comes from socialism and everything that's bad from the evil imperialistic forces especially the US and should something bad happen within the socialist garden of Eden then it's something left over from the time before the country was set free by the beloved leader/party.
The EU is currently putting the final touches to its new Cuba policy of engagement, ie. just because they jail activitist, dissidents and other "counter-revolutionaries (that is doctors, priests, journalist who do not follow the party line), doesn't mean that we cannot have open dialogue and trade with Cuba!
Oh, and they plan to ban all dissidents from any EU sponsored event, anywhere. This should go down well with that other great trading partner - China.
Funny how the only people in jail in Cuba that the EU seems concerned about are the ones in US custody!!
maybe they just want to see how it works for when they bring in similiar laws within the EU.
Funny that but i seem to remeber reading somewhere (think it was BBC) that Red Ken was trying to organise a london wide celebration of the peoples utopia that is CUBA and to pay homage to good old fidel cstro himself.