http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/january-20-s-elections-in-cuba/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

*January 20 (S)elections in Cuba

Posted January 19, 2008 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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EarthTimes.com

German parliament leader chides Cuba elections as ‘farce’
Author : DPA

Berlin - In an interview, Bundestag President Norbert Lammert criticized Sunday’s upcoming elections in Cuba as a farce, noting the lack of any opposition candidates on the election slate. “With only 614 candidates for the 614 slots in the National Assembly, the point is driven home,” Lammert said in an interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

He said it was the height of cynicism that the Cuban government defends the system as one that spares voters the need to decide between candidates whom they don’t know. Lammert also criticized Cuba’s refusal to allow international election observers.

Member Comments

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On January 19, 2008, publisher wrote:

There really isn’t much to this story but I found it interesting that a European country is not kissing Cuba’s ass.

This article also drove home the point that the elections tomorrow are really Selections not Elections.

Pretty good huh?

Watch this thread for Selection updates.

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On January 19, 2008, publisher wrote:

On December 1, 2007 I made the prediction that Fidel Castro would not be elected President and I stand by my prediction.

Check out that article for commentary from other readers.

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On January 19, 2008, publisher wrote:

Vote may signal Castro’s last hurrah

BY FRANCES ROBLES | Miami Herald

Cuba’s election Sunday for the national legislature includes the ailing Fidel Castro as a candidate, but experts say the vote may well be the first step toward his retirement.

Castro has recently hinted he’s willing to give up his role of president—opening the door for the first time for the rubber-stamp National Assembly to become a critical force in choosing who runs the island, experts say.

‘‘Is the Council of State going to elect a chief of state for the next five years a person who has not been seen in public for a year and a half?’’ said Cuba expert Paolo Spadoni, a visiting assistant professor at Rollins College in Winter Park.

‘‘To me, it’s more probable that he will relinquish that role,’’ he said. ``There’s a good chance Fidel Castro will not be the next president.’‘

Cubans head to the polls Sunday to choose 614 members of the National Assembly. All the candidates are running uncontested and have virtually no chance of losing. Among them: Fidel Castro, 81, whose name will appear on the ballot representing Santiago de Cuba.

Castro was nominated even though he turned over power to his brother Raúl ‘‘temporarily’’ in July 2006 after suffering from intestinal bleeding. Three surgeries later, he has not returned to office, and 75-year-old Raúl continues to run the nation.

The elder Castro has only been seen in sporadic videos and photographs, the latest this week when he appeared in a video with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

‘‘I think Fidel is ready to take on his political role in Cuba and his historical role before the world,’’ Lula da Silva said after his meeting. He added that Castro was ‘‘incredibly lucid’’ and has ``impeccable health.’‘

POSSIBLE CHANGE

Read the rest of the article here

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On January 19, 2008, publisher wrote:

Here is a pretty good summary of the (S)election process:

Cuba to hold parliamentary elections

By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ | Associated Press

There is no mudslinging or million-dollar war chest. No party nominations, dirty tricks or battles for key endorsements.

In fact, there’s no campaigning at all — and the most famous candidate, Fidel Castro, hasn’t been seen in public for almost 18 months.

Still, more than 90 percent of voters are expected to turn out Sunday for parliamentary elections — a key step in determining whether the ailing Castro remains as head of state.

The 81-year-old Castro is up for re-election to the legislature, as is his younger brother Raul, who has run the government since July 2006.

Fidel Castro, who is recovering from an undisclosed illness, has been the island’s unchallenged leader since the 1959 revolution that overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Castro wrote in December that he would not cling to power or stand in the way of new generations, but has not indicated whether he would step aside permanently. He still heads the Council of State, Cuba’s top governing body, and re-election to the parliament is a necessity if he wants to retain that post.

New lawmakers have 45 days following the election to choose a new Council of State from their members, meaning a decision on whether Castro will remain its president — or retire — could come by March.

The Communist Party is the only one allowed and while candidates do not have to be members, they are the only ones who reach leadership positions. Instead of campaigning, candidates’ resumes — including those of the Castro brothers — were published in state-run newspapers and posted at polling places.

Read the rest of the article here

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On January 19, 2008, James August wrote:

614 candidates for 614 offices, any bets on who won’t be elected grin

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On January 20, 2008, publisher wrote:

Here’s what Oswaldo Paya has to say about the elections.

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On January 20, 2008, publisher wrote:

It is being reported the the National Assembly will convene on February 24 and will select the President at that time.

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On January 20, 2008, nacho wrote:

What are the chances that Cuba will have a new president of Feb 24? http://tinyurl.com/39h2um

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On January 21, 2008, James August wrote:

Votes counted in Cuban elections

3 hours ago

Cubans have ratified a raft of candidates, including Fidel Castro, for a new parliament that will decide whether the ailing 81-year-old president will continue as head of state or be replaced by his younger brother Raul.

Only one candidate appeared on the ballot for each district post and no campaigning was allowed.

The Communist Party was the only party permitted to run in the election - although membership is not a prerequisite to serve in the parliament.

Cubans lined up before dawn in blustery weather to cast their votes.

An estimated 95% of some 8.4 million registered voters had cast ballots as of an hour before polling stations closed on Sunday night.

http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jQobtNgLtssQK3EarkOLbEJqmvog

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On January 21, 2008, publisher wrote:

What’s the sense of voting really? You either vote for the person or you don’t?

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On January 21, 2008, nacho wrote:

This parliament will see the first babalawo elected http://tinyurl.com/323n7d
He is already saying what we already knew wink .. that Castro is into brujeria wink

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On January 21, 2008, publisher wrote:

Here is what Oswaldo Paya had to say from an article from CatholicNewsAgency.com:

The president of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, has issued a statement denouncing Sunday’s elections to the Popular Assembly as illegitimate and insisting on the need for changes to the Cuban electoral system to make it authentically democratic.

“For many years we have called for changes in the laws to ensure greater respect for the rights of citizens.  We have especially insisted on a new electoral law, because it is fundamental for people’s exercise of their sovereignty,” Paya said in his statement.

He said the electoral process in Cuba is flawed from the outset because only official government bodies can nominate candidates. “Those who can be elected are not average Cuban citizens but rather only those designated by these Candidacy Commissions,” Paya said.

He called the Cuban electoral process a “joke” and a “violation of the Constitution.”  “Politically speaking it is a grave violation of popular sovereignty, and in terms of ethics it harms the dignity of persons and right of our people to define their lives and their future,” he added.

Regarding yesterday’s elections, the Christian Liberation Movement leader pointed out that “never before has such an intense, disproportionate and at the same time disloyal campaign been carried out.  All of the media paid for by the people has been used to promote a vote that is definitely not an election.  It has truly been ‘marketing’ with artists, athletes and a parade of everything considered to be popular in order to influence the elections,” Paya said.

The Christian Liberation Movement has sent a proposal to the government “supported by more than 25,000 voters” calling for a referendum and new election laws, “which will allow citizens to nominate and elect their congressmen and other representatives at all levels.”

“We do not have the authority or the intention of telling any Cuban whether to vote or how to vote, but we do have the responsibility and the mission to call on Cubans to act freely, that is, moved by their own consciences, out of honor, out of love of country, of freedom, of neighbor and of the dignity of their children, without fear.  That is liberation,” Paya said in conclusion.

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On January 21, 2008, publisher wrote:

I got an email asking about the results.

I replied by saying “Everybody won”.

So, needless to say, there is no election coverage in Cuba so there is no election coverage here.

Maybe more people will be understanding the joke that is elections in Cuba now that the US is right in the Presidential primary season.

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On January 24, 2008, publisher wrote:

CNN video on the January 20 elections shows some good video of Fidel and Lula.