Chargé d’Affaires Clarifies Country’s Electoral Process
Cuban Chargé d’Affaires, Yordenis Despaigne Vera, says his country’s electoral process observes democratic tenets, contrary to the bleak picture given by western propaganda about Cuba’s political system.
At a press briefing in Monrovia on Tuesday, April 3, Mr. Vera said despite dissimilarities in conduct with countries practicing democracy, Cuba as a Communist country, believes in government by the people, for the people and of the people.
According to him, Cubans play active role in electing their public officials, including President and Parliamentarians.
In order to ensure transparency in the process, the Cuban diplomat said every Cuban at the age of 16 is automatically registered free to participate in election.
On Sunday, March 11, 2018, Cubans voted into office a new National Assembly (parliamentarians), which is responsible for selecting a Council of State consisting of one president, one first vice president, five vice presidents, one secretary and 23 other members. The in-coming president of Cuba, expected to be named this month, will be the country’s first non-Castro president in nearly 60 years.
“Our parliamentarians do not campaign to make big promises, because the government sponsors all of what Cubans need. They are elected by their constituents on the basis of competence, willingness to serve, prestige and relation with the people,” Vera said.
According to him, it will cost huge sum of money for a person desiring to be a parliamentarian to campaign, and to avoid engaging into huge expenses and perhaps using resources that should go to development, government underwrites the expenses and the citizens vote nominated candidates in accordance with the competence.
He explained that unlike lawmakers in other countries, who are paid salaries for the positions they occupy, Cuban parliamentarians are paid by services for which they are employed in various professional areas.
For instance, a parliamentarian who serves as a civil servant in the teaching field will get paid for being a teacher in line with the minimum wage of the country and not as a parliamentarian.
Mr. Vera said the people have the power and will to get out of office any parliamentarian who is not working in line with their expectations, something he emphasized as a tenet of democracy.
Vera added that it was necessary he explained to Liberians how the Cuban electoral system works so that they will not believe propaganda spread by their opponents.