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Raúl talks with the population in Fidels electoral district
General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, took part yesterday in one of the district meetings organized to present candidates for parliamentary deputies and delegates to the Provincial Assemblies of Peoples Power in the context of the elections on January 20.

General of the Army Raúl Castro RuzIn emotional contacts with the population of Santiagos Electoral District No 7, the second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba stated that he was fulfilling a task entrusted to him by President Fidel Castro to represent him in these meetings with the people during the candidates tours, given that Fidel is still making a satisfactory recovery.

"Fidel is recovering, he is reading more than ever, writing, he is consulted on all important decisions, he has put on weight, exercises daily and sends you warm greetings," commented Raúl.

"Our Caguairán (Fidel) honors the name of that robust tree with the moral qualities and will that he possesses," he affirmed.

Raúl, accompanied by members of the Political Bureau Misael Enamorado Dáger and General of the Army Corps Ramón Espinosa Martín, chief of the Eastern Army, talked with voters from the Peoples Councils of El Cobre, José Martí North, Manuel Isla and Boniato.

"These contacts between candidates and electors, in which Fidel has traditionally participated, are an expression of the popular will to elect the most capable and those with the greatest merits to represent you in the various structures of government," he affirmed.

The first vice president said how honored he felt to fulfill the mission to greet his electors entrusted him by Fidel and emphasized his admiration for the other candidates for deputies and the 10 candidates for delegates nominated by this electoral district. All of them are from humble origins, born in the heart of the people, a veritable expression of what the Revolution is, he noted.

At another point he said that when he was accompanying Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez during the huge and beautiful reception by the people of Santiago of this beloved, close and generous friend of Cuba, "as we were nearing the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery to pay tribute to Martí and all those who died in our independence struggles, I asked him if he believed that one day the United States could attack this worthy people. He said 'No and added what I was thinking myself. 'That joy, those faces cannot be attacked at bayonet point. He was as moved as I was. So I confirmed to him again - as we said at one memorable moment of history - that Santiago is still Santiago."

Evaluating the democratic quality of the Cuban revolutionary process characterized by citizens participation, Raúl stated: "Our enemies speak of democracy, criticize us because, according to them, there are no elections here, but if all the countries of the planet were to be studied one by one, you could say that some of them do have a democracy adjusted to their class system, but not that any one of them is more democratic than ours."

Raúl supported that affirmation with the example of the United States, which calls itself the greatest democracy in the world and supposedly has two parties, but there is nothing so like a Democrat as a Republican. A Republican president organized the Bay of Pigs invasion and a Democratic leader immorally executed it, he recalled.

He stressed that nowhere in the world were candidates selected as they are in Cuba, where the people nominate them, and went on to say that logically, nothing is perfect "and our system has to continue making its democratic concepts more profound."

In that context, he stated: "In Cuba we have only one Party, but we have to become the most democratic Party that has existed, where there is more debate, where differences exist - not antagonistic ones - and that they are expressed in the right place, that everyone can say what they want to within the established order, always respecting the proper place, the opportune moment and the correct form, so that everyone can express what they feel."

He observed that the popular discussion based on the speech he gave last July 26 in Camagüey on the recommendation of the Party and with Fidels approval was a special display of that democracy. Thousands of proposals and dissatisfactions came out of that analysis, but nobody challenged the system, the Revolution.

In his conversations with electors, Raúl explained state efforts to compensate the damage provoked by the recent intense rainfall in the eastern region and listed some of the improvements that Santiago de Cuba is to gradually receive in terms of its water supply and urban transport.

In each neighborhood where he talked frankly with the people, Raúl ratified his conviction that without political machinery or an electoral farce, the response of Cubans on January 20 will back their decision that the social system enshrined in the constitution will be the sole and lasting one.

(Granma International)

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