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August 1, 2014

Homework Help: English

Posted by Crystal on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 12:16pm.

Please help revise, thanks


In this paper I will argue that although Cuba is a communist country it has some democratic characteristics. To support my argument and demonstrate Cuba’s level of democracy, I will analyze and apply the three essential principles of democracy according to Peter H. Smith author of “Democracy in Latin America”. Smith contains that participation, competition, and accountability are the three fundamental characteristics of democracy, combined with its legal procedures.
Today most nations in particular those in the Western hemisphere do not consider Cuba to be a democracy. However there is some level of democracy in Cuba. Participation is an essential principle of democracy, one that no section of a country’s population is excluded from the pursuit of political power (Smith 9). In the Case of Cuba no one is excluded from effective pursuit of political power (Sheppard 1). Although the Cuban Communist Party is the only political party in the entire country, it only comprises fifteen percent of Cuba’s entire population (Prevost 363). As a result, anyone can be elected to the government whether or not they belong to the Communist Party (Sheppard 2).
The distribution of power is well represented at the National Assembly, the highest organ of government. Approximately, half of the candidates to the National Assembly are made up of people elected at the municipal level, the other half are representatives of labor, farmers, women, and student organizations (Villagomez 1). Max Azicri, author of Cuba Today and Tomorrow breaks it down, the 458 national delegates elected in 1993 averaged forty-three years old, with 77.7 percent under fifty. Of the legislators, 75 percent had college education, including eighty-three scientists, forty-eight physicians, four college professors and teachers, eighteen artists, eleven journalist, nine athletes, and ten college students. Ten percent were sugar and agricultural workers, 5.24 percent union leaders, 0.43 percent religious leaders, 18.9 percent presidents of popular councils, and 23 percent were women.
Furthermore Azicri contains that only “8 percent of the initial candidates were members of the Communist Party or of the Union of Communist Youth officials; thirteen of the forty government cabinet ministries had been nominated, and 19.2 percent of the deputies had sought reelection” (124). The Cuban Communist Party is not an electoral formation and cannot nominate candidates to neither the Municipal Assembly nor the Provincial Assembly. The party is not allowed to propose nominate nor promote candidates (Villagomez 1). Candidates to both assemblies are nominated by Cuban citizens. However party members occupy nearly all of the important positions of government (Prevost 353).
The right to vote is another form of participation. In a democracy adult citizens must have the right to vote (Smith 9). In Cuba the minimum voting age is sixteen (Prevost 363). All Cubans are born with the right to vote and are automatically registered to the electoral registries (Garcia 4). Cubans feel motivated to participate in government. On Election Day every Cuban citizen is involved in one way or another, either through Cubans walking to the polls to cast their votes or families preparing their children to watch the polls. In fact, the recent Cuban General Elections held on January 20th, 2008, counted on a booming ninety eight percent of voter turnouts (Valle 1). A total of 8 million citizens out of the estimated 11 million estimated populations elected a candidate of their preference (Valle 1).

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