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Cuba and its system of socialist participative democracy
Thousands of tons of ink and paper, hundreds of thousands of radio and TV broadcast hours and millions of kilowatts of electricity are spent every year in Western industrialized countries to advertise their electoral campaigns and their model of representative democracy and, at the same time, to denigrate all that is different, beginning with us.

It would be very difficult for them "almost impossible" to admit that nowadays Cuba and its system of socialist participative democracy, without being perfect, is much closer to the ideal of government by the people, by the people and for the people, as outlined by the great universal humanist thinkers, than any capitalist country worldwide.

In fact, the Declaration and Action Programme adopted during the World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna, Austria, 1993, declares: "Democracy is based on the freely expressed will of the people to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their lives".

As evident, Cuba does not have any problem to adopt this definition, especially after the beginning of the institutionalization process in 1976, with the new Political Administrative Division, the establishment of Peoples Power structures at all levels and the creation of a Constitution that was analyzed article by article from the base to the Parliament and then approved in national referendum. Can our detractors say the same?

In Cuba, Municipal Assemblies are formed by the candidates proposed by neighbors in their districts, who nominate two to eight candidates with the one who receives the most votes and a simple majority elected in each district.

Therefore, the Government of each municipality is formed by the group of elected delegates, who have different professions and occupations, from worker, university student, doctor, soldier, religious person to scientist; the widest social spectrum imaginable.

Among their first acts of government, once the assemblies are constituted, is to approve or reject the proposals of the Candidature Commissions for candidates to delegates to Provincial Assemblies and representatives to the National Assembly. Who form these commissions?

These groups are invariably formed by representatives of union, social, farmers, students, and women organizations, among others, who based their choices on the human qualities and prestige of the people in their own environment, as well as their willingness to serve the society, without receiving a cent for their work.

In the precise case of this province, the eight local governments approved the candidature project of 25 representatives to the National Assembly and 75 delegates to the Provincial Assembly from a group of more than 600 people.

These candidates made a tour all through the region to make themselves known in meetings with the working people, students, soldiers and other citizens. Their campaigns are reduced to neighbourhood meetings, propaganda is minimal reduced to biographic synthesis of each "candidate" that are posted in visible places of each district and in the electoral colleges.

However, the men and women nominated by the Candidacy Commissions and approved later by the Municipal Assemblies to become members of the Provincial Assemblies or the Parliament, will be put to the popular vote in the elections to take place on January 20.

In Cuba the Constitution establishes that ballot boxes be guarded by children and teenagers. The boxes are publicly sealed, and the counting of votes also occurs in front of all the people who want to witness it, including national and foreign reporters.

All the candidates who reach more than half the valid votes are chosen. While in some countries like the United States those candidates able to collect the highest funding from corporations and organizations supporting them are normally the strongest candidates, in Cuba this practice is absolutely nonexistent, not having any influence in any of the stages of the electoral process.

For honest men and women, this single element should be enough to discredit a priori the electoral model that makes the United States so proud.


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