By Lino Luben Perez
Unlike the universal practice, the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) has since its creation nearly half a century ago, the thesis that it is not an institution for electoral purposes: neither appoints candidates nor elects them.
Its role as “the highest leading force of society and the state” is defined in the
Constitution of the Republic, approved in a popular referendum in 1976, when 98 percent of voters exercise their right in an election that set standards of participatory democracy.
The PCC embodies the fighting traditions of earlier generations; it is a follower of the Cuban Revolutionary Party founded by José Martí to achieve national independence, the first Communist Party and the revolutionary organizations that fought against the tyranny of Fulgencio Batista.
Such a background legitimize the existence of a single party under the conditions of the island facing since the beginning of the Revolution in 1959 the unbridled interventionism of the U.S. governments that have sought to regain its former colony at any price.
Under these conditions, the defense of the revolutionary is recurrent; the party’s electoral role is limited to ensuring that elections are carried out transparently and according to the Constitution, as in the current process of nomination of candidates to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power.
Even membership (in the PCC) of the nominees is not a requirement, although many of them are militants, precisely because of being prestigious citizens.
But this democratic exercise is not manifested only when there is call to the polls, but the political and mass organizations, including children from fourth grade, regularly elect their grassroots leaders and even at the national level.
Another characteristic is that in no type of election electoral propaganda is allowed such as posters, billboards, television and radio appearances, nor rallies in favor of the candidates.
How much would be done in Cuba with the record of 641 million dollars raised in 2008 for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, who made many promises to win the power at the White House and has not fulfilled any?.
Each of these alienating messages is replaced by the publication in public places of the biographies and photos of the candidates under the same conditions for each of them. The candidates, as a rule, are widely known by voters, because they are prestigious citizens living in their own neighborhood.
Even the custody of the polls differ from the traditional one, guarded by children as opposed to the threatening presence of police or armed soldiers at the doors of polling stations, something typical in other countries.