Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Electoral fever

Cubans go to the polls on October 21.

I know, I know … it’s all a charade.

Just as it used to be in the old Soviet Union and in the rest of Eastern Europe, the results are more or less pre-determined well before election day by the Communist Party.

Still, the forthcoming elections for municipal assemblies will provide some guidance, for want of a better word, on the future role of Fidel Castro within the regime.

You see, elections to the provincial legislatures and the rubber-stamp National Assembly will follow (no dates yet), and these in turn will result in the election of a new president of the Council of State.

That’s a position Castro has held since the current system was introduced in the mid 1970s, along with his other titles as Prime Minister, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and most importantly, head of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC).

According to this Reuters report, there is already speculation that the ailing 80-year-old dictator may agreed to give up his position as head of State, handing it over to his younger brother, Raul, while remaining head of the PCC.

If so, it will be a clear signal to Cubans that the old man is most definitely not coming back.

We shall see.


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