July 23, 2012

Democracy and Cuba

Members of the national electoral commission of Cuba

Agnerys Rodriguez Gavilán
Juventud Rebelde, Cuba

This Friday, members of the National Electoral Commission signed the official incorporation document during the ceremony held at the José Martí.

Balseiro Alina Gutierrez, president of the National Electoral Commission, issued the Oath of members of the highest authority that she encabeza.

"Our political system is the main achievement of the Revolution, from which all the others depend. To strengthen it is even more important now, when we are updating the economic model and adopting the necessary changes to improve Cuban society."

This statement was made on Friday in Havana, by the Politburo member Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, president of the Popular Power National Assembly, when he uttered the final words of the act of incorporation of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), and the taking possession of office of each of its members.

"I stress in particular, he explained, that these changes we are making in our model imply a role for the municipal assemblies of People's Power, and therefore for the colleagues who will be elected as delegates to integrate them."

In this way, towards the updating and improvement, the place and the scope for the general election process already underway are vital, and in particular the role of the NEC as its chief executive. In this regard, Alarcon said that all members will lead a process of political importance; it is no exaggeration if we describe it as a political battle that our people have to win once again.

To understand, he said, why it is a political battle, we must remember that in what is commonly known as the Bush Plan, the Plan for Assistance to a Democratic Transition in Cuba, a long chapter is devoted to the Cuban electoral system, and there the Americans are focused on these two points in particular, a new electoral register and, of course, promoting the organization of political parties to usurp the will that in our country each of the voters has been practicing in voting themselves, directly.

Someone might think, since this was a plan of George W. Bush, and Bush is no longer president, but he who replaced him has never said such a plan is not in force. He has done something more, it has been applied systematically and consistently.

As a recent and concrete demonstration that Obama is continuing to apply the Bush Plan, Alarcon referred to the communication that the current administration sent to Congress in which it says that, to the many funds that are used to try to undermine Cuban society to pay mercenaries working to end this democratic system, they have decided to add 20 million more, to be used, according to this communication, between now and September 30 this year, at the conclusion of the current fiscal year.

If the Bush Plan were implemented, the current system of automatic, universal, free and simple enrollment would be abolished, and take away from the people the unique ability to decide who the candidates would be and return to one of the saddest moment of our history. During the first U.S. intervention, precisely what it did was put an end to democratic practices exercised by our freedom combatants in the free fields of Cuba, making an electoral register which gained the congratulations from its military headquarters in the Pentagon, because the voters of Cuba had been reduced to a tiny proportion of the population, characterized by two things, which was white, and had above-average income people.

But, we, and you, have to defend our system with energy and force, he said.

In his view, effective participation and popular control are the essence of our political system and are key factors in this stage of the Revolution.

Returning to the responsibility of the members of the NEC, he said: "You have been appointed to undertake a task of great historical responsibility. It is your responsibility to ensure strict adherence to the principles and rules of this, our system, to promote the free, conscious and authentic participation of the people throughout the process. So, congratulations, but I also ask you to fulfill that precious duty that the country gives you this time. "

He urged them to work with zeal, dedication, to ensure that these principles not only to survive, not only develop, but are increasingly applied more rigorously, more exemplary, in the best way and with everyone, concluded Alarcon. (...)

In better organizational conditions

The country is holding the current general elections in better organizational conditions, said Homero Acosta at the opening of the act.

As part of the institutional strengthening and improving the state apparatus, he reported that in June last year the Council of State appointed a temporary work commission to create in time sufficient organizational bases for the electoral process, on which it has worked, in conjunction with other agencies, on among other things, the preparation of the electoral budget.

That same committee, he added, led the development of a software application that serves as a technical support for the elections, the draft regulations of the support structures of committees at various levels, and the proposed training plan for the electoral authorities.

"All this has allowed us to start this election process in a better organizational condition and more efficient in all areas," he said.

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