A part of the population assures that it will not go to the polls to legitimize those apparent elections: some admit that they come to vote for fear of reprisals while others repeat the officialist discourseAfter six o’clock in the afternoon, I asked Daniela, a single mother of three children, her opinion on the Cuban electoral process or whether on Sunday, March 11, she will vote in the referendum that will ratify the 605 deputies to the Parliament that later, on April 19, will elect the new Council State and who appropriates the title of President of Cuba.
And is that when night falls, Daniela’s apartment is the closest thing to a small hell. While trying to prepare the food – chicken spice, white rice, black beans and tomato salad – their children fight among themselves to watch certain programming on television or they start playing soccer with a ball that crashes into the walls, threatening destroy furniture and decorations of the house.
Around eleven o’clock at night, when her children are asleep, Daniela offers her verdict on the elections in Cuba: “All the elections here are a montage, what do they solve? Nothing, it’s a joke, it’s part of the simulation We live in this country, I will go on Sunday and leave my ballot blank as I have been doing for a while, although that does not solve anything, either vote blank or do not vote, and the future delegates are chosen. “
Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, daughter of the opposition Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, who died in a traffic accident in July 2012, whose family accuses the olive-green autocracy of causing the fatal crash, has another point of view.
At the head of the organization Cuba Decide, Rosa Maria, who lives itinerant between Miami and Havana, carries out a campaign for Cubans to annul the ballot papers by writing the word Plebiscite.
In his opinion, a “signal of rejection would be sent, both to the electoral system and to the government of Raul Castro” and would support the proposal promoted by Cuba Decide, to hold a binding plebiscite that would initiate a political transition towards democracy in the Island.
Other opposition groups, such as the Forum for the Rights and Freedoms of Antonio Rodiles and Ailer Gonzalez, believe that the road to follow to demand the rights kidnapped by the regime are the street marches. They consider that participating in electoral processes is validating the dictatorship.
The dissidence, divided and without a popular base, has not been able or has failed to build bridges with the Cuban street. They speak the same language and have more or less similar aspirations – democracy, economic freedom and freedom of expression and free elections – but for now they are not compatible.
The ordinary people see dissidence in another dimension, either due to the official narrative or the poor performance of the opposition, which rarely lands in the community and lives from the discourse focused on the outside.
Given the lack of leadership, political apathy and fear that still grips many Cubans, the position of a broad segment of Cubans with respect to the elections on Sunday, March 11 is to continue the simulation. Or just stay at home talking or watching television.
DIARIO LAS AMERICAS spoke on the subject with several habaneros. Ana, an engineer, will take advantage of Sunday to get the iron through her hair and fix her daughter’s closet. “I do not intend to vote, I do not swallow another story, one can be deceived by ten, twenty or thirty years, but now it’s six decades with the same story and the people passing work.”
Otto, a bus driver, will vote not to sign with the CDR (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, neighborhood watch system created by Fidel Castro).
“I have living in my house without permission to my wife and mother who are Oriental, if I am not going to vote, they take out dirty laundry, I can leave the ballot blank, write a bad word or put an X for all the candidates, but none of those options will solve our problems. “
Carlos, a sociologist, considers that the electoral process in Cuba is an infectious and undemocratic mechanism. “It’s pure formalism, Cubans do not elect the president directly, the vote on Sunday is not to elect anyone, it’s to ratify a group that was already chosen by the authorities.” Do not attend or leave the ballot blank, perhaps It is useful for the statistics and it is seen that popular support has been lost, but even if only 50 percent of the voters attend, that will not prevent the nominated candidates from being elected. “
Hilda, an official, will work in an electoral college in the municipality of Diez de Octubre. Without blushing, he repeats the regime’s tirade: “The elections in Cuba are the most transparent and democratic in the world. The polls are guarded by pioneers, not by soldiers. And at the time of counting, any citizen, even if he is an opponent of the government, can observe the count. Our electoral model is not perfect, but it is among the best on the planet “
Faced with the questions of why Cubans can not directly elect the president or run for office, a person who does not belong to the communist party, the prohibition to participate in the elections of neighborhood candidates to dozens of dissidents or allow direct plebiscites with citizen proposals, Hilda responds: “Our system to elect the president is parliamentary, just like in other nations.
Cuba is a one-party democracy. The individuals who tried to participate in the constituency elections are mercenaries paid by the United States to overthrow the system. And we can not accept that. Making direct elections with popular requests has more science fiction than reality, “the official argues.
Due to ignorance or disinformation, she did not know that direct plebiscites are carried out in Switzerland. Those in charge of the electoral processes of the regime in Cuba, should visit the Helvetian country and learn how a real democracy works. And not continue winding a useless invention.