Cuban Opposition Will Have Candidates in November’s Municipal Elections

In previous elections, the Government has stigmatized and ultimately frustrated the candidacy of opponents. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 26 October 2022 — The D Frente platform, which brings together personalities and groups from the Cuban opposition, published a Citizen Letter on Facebook this Wednesday with proposals to “exercise sovereignty” in the municipal assembly elections on November 27.

These postulates have been taken as a program by a group of citizens backed by the Council for the Democratic Transition in Cuba (CTDC), who intend to present themselves as candidates to be nominated in the elections.

The names of the Cubans remain hidden, because in previous electoral processes the Government has stigmatized and finally frustrated the candidacy of opponents. “The only genuine representation is the plural representation of the citizenry. From below, from where democracy is built,” affirms the CTDC.

The D Frente program that will be promoted by possible candidates consists of five proposals addressed to those who participate in the municipal elections and, in general, “to the country.” The Citizen Charter invokes Article 3 of the current Constitution of the Republic and urges citizens to exercise “the fundamental power to decide our destiny… from law to law, peacefully.”

It insists that the contents of the proposals have been highlighted many times, and more emphatically during the protests of July 11, 2021. The first section demands that no more resources be dedicated to the construction of tourist facilities, but rather that budgets be applied to “five priority issues”: food, health, housing, subsidies for single mothers, women in situations of violence and the elderly, as well as solving the energy crisis.

The second point demands the elimination of stores that only take payment in freely convertible currency (MLC), since “they deepen discrimination” and have proven to be an ineffective solution to the shortage of supplies on the Island. It adds, as an additional effect, that basic and necessary merchandise has become more expensive and this has generated an “offensive” differentiation between those who have access to foreign currency and those who do not.

The release of political prisoners is the subject of the third proposal, which denounces that these citizens have limited themselves to exercising “the freedoms of demonstration, expression, assembly and association, and that they have only asked for changes that improve and give new hope to their lives and those of their families.” In this sense, D Frente demands a general amnesty for prisoners and adds that “the street belongs to Cubans.”

Fourth, D Frente demands the cessation of the calls by the Cuban authorities “to hatred and combat” that have become frequent in the media. They ask, “That our children do not continue to be used to exercise violence.”

Finally, the fifth point demands respect for the “voluntary solidarity economy networks that are being created autonomously and permanently,” and that serve as a channel to help the most vulnerable families on the Island.

The D Frente proposals that the CTDC candidates intend to promote if they manage to be among the nominees, hope to be shared with the public and circulated by “all possible institutions.”

The convening of the municipal assemblies of People’s Power is the first step for the subsequent appointment of provincial governors and deputy governors, and eventually the delegates of the National Assembly.

In 2015, two independent candidates, Hildebrando Chaviano and Yuniel López, managed to reach the electoral ballots of their respective constituencies in Havana. Their biographies, published by the electoral commission*, described them as “counter-revolutionary elements.” Neither of them got the necessary number of votes.

*Translator’s note: In Cuban elections candidates are only allowed to “campaign” through the posting of their “official biographies” – which are written by government officials — there are no other permitted campaign activities.


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