Thursday, January 31, 2008

Electoral results

So we all agree that the parliamentary “elections” held in Cuba earlier this month were a charade.

After all, it’s the type of election where there are 614 carefully-chosen candidates for exactly 614 seats in the National Assembly. In other words, you can’t lose.

Still, let’s assume for a minute that there is some sense to this farce. Let’s assume, too, that the official results published overnight by the Cuban Electoral Commission (CEN) are valid. Big assumptions but let’s pretend …

What do the figures tell us?

First: Raul Castro, the “temporary” president, apparently received a bigger vote in his district than Fidel Castro, the ailing 81-year-old dictator. Unprecedented, you say. Exactly. Obviously, there is a message there somewhere.

Second: the issue of the voto unido. As previously discussed, the regime furiously promoted the need for Cubans to “stand united” and vote for all the candidates as a block. A matter of the utmost importance, the older Castro wrote in one of his “editorials”.

Well, the official figures reveal that 9.10 per cent of the voters defied the regime and voted selectively for candidates – that’s almost one in 10.

Even more telling, the proportion of voters who defied the regime and its interminable propaganda in this way ranged from just 5.38 per cent in the province of Granma, in eastern Cuba, to a remarkable 32.34 per cent in the Isle of Youth.


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