Cuba Goes to Polls

Fidel Castro, Elian Gonzalez's father and the popular singer Silvio Rodriguez among candidates.

The people of Cuba elected on Sunday their candidates for the unicameral National Assembly, which eventually ratifies Fidel Castro's Presidency. As per the last reports from Havana, elections ran smoothly. However there is little space for confrontation as electors have unique lists to elect candidates.

The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro considers island's elections are fairest than capitalistic ones. The Cuban President contrasted the electoral processes of the so-called democratic countries, many times fraudulent, clearly alluding to the way US President George W. Bush was elected on November 2000, with the Cuban system.

"Only the Cuban people participate in elections, because the Cuban Communist Party and the State do not elect themselves, whilst political parties in other nations establish the parliament's representatives, but the final decision is the candidates' money", expressed Castro.

Even when it is easy to disagree with Castro's words, it is important to remember that US current President was not elected by the people of the United States of America, but through the polemic decision of a Supreme Court of Justice controlled by the Republican Party.

However, Cuban dissidents insist elections are not transparent in the Island. The renowned activist Osvaldo Paya, a leading organizer of the Varela Project petition, said in Mexico that the elections are "neither constitutional not legitimate". The Varela Project is a petition signed by 11,020 citizens asking for a pro-democracy referendum. The National Asembly never responded to the document.

The members of country's municipal assemblies elected the unopposed candidates for the 609 seats. Among them are very much known national and international personalities such as the father of Elian Gozalez, the boy kidnapped by an anti-Castrist family in Miami; Silvio Rodriguez, one of the most relevant Spanish speaking composers in decades; Fidel Castro, himself and renowned sportsmen.

This year, President Castro called on Cuba's more than 8 million voters to go to the polls and vote. Commander Castro said: "An energetic and resounding victory is needed to show the enemy our force and unity."

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

Photo: The leader of the Cuban Revolution goes for his umpteenth re-election.

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