Party Prepares Itself for Next Elections / Laritza Diversent

The Communist Party of Cuba works arduously to realize a full identity between its members and those of the government, and to guarantee that its politics are approved unanimously in the National Assembly, the body that represents and expresses the will of more than 11 million Cubans.

The sixth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba was the beginning of the preparations, of the partisan organization, for the next general elections. The goal is to renew state bodies for the new term of office that begins in 2013.

The Communist Party of Cuba is the only political organization that is recognized as legal within the Cuban system. The Constitution of 1976 recognizes it as “the superior ruling force of Cuban society and of the Government” and even though it does not participate in the elections, its leaders need to also be candidates for national deputies, which will later make up the state bodies.

During the closure of the partisan congress, last April, a National Conference was announced for the next January 28, months before the beginning of preparations for the electoral process.

One of the top subjects the Communists will touch on in their meeting is, “…the policy of party leaders as political leaders as well as in institutions and organizations”. Something very convenient for National Deputies’ candidacy projects, who prepare and present representatives of social and mass organizations*.

In view of the holding of this meeting, between May 20 and July 13, the Assemblies for Balance of the Party* at that level, were carried out in the 15 provinces. These meetings are still in progress in the 169 municipalities of the country.

The debate process is now inverted, from top to bottom and with only one explanation. In 2012 the electoral process must be executed. First will come the elections for delegates who make up the Municipal Assemblies, and once these are established, those for Provincial Delegates and later those for National Deputies who make up the  government bodies.

The deputy candidates are presented for nomination at the Municipal Assemblies by the Candidacy Committees from different levels. Then they are nominated by the recently established Municipal assemblies and elected by citizens.

The candidacy Committees are made up of representatives from the Center for Workers of Cuba (CTC), the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), the University Student Federation (FEU) and from the Secondary Education Student Federation (FEEM).

However, several of the maximum leaders of these organizations, aside from being deputies and members of the State Council, are also members of the Communist Party of Cuba. Salvador Valdés Mesa, secretary general of the CTC, is a member of the Political Bureau. Yolanda Ferrer Gómez, secretary general of the FMC, and Orlando Lugo Fonte, President of the ANAP, are both part of the Central Committee.

At this time, 20 of the 31 members of the State Council are on the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and 72% of the party members, are deputies. There is no doubt the level of coincidence will increase with the next Parliamentary mandate, as the highest expression of the one party system, the concentration of power, characteristic of the socialist democracy.

*Translator’s note:
Party Assemblies at the level of each province, whose subject was the debate and evaluation of common practices and policies, with the goal of improving these.

Translated by: Claudia D.

August 15 2011