author photo

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

Politics Is One Thing and Politicking Another

March 15, 2017 |

By Elio Delgado Legon

Elections in Cuba: “Personally speaking, this is the most democratic system that exists in the world.”  Photo:  juventudrebelde.cu

HAVANA TIMES — Politics are an art form; politicking is a serious crime against the people of a nation. Politics are used to serve the people and to defend them; politicking is used to rob them, not only financially, but of their dreams and hopes too.

The term “politicking” was invented by Cubans a long time ago to allude to what was going on the country, with many political parties, whose leaders used to take each other apart, with accusations – true or false, it didn’t matter – they insulted each other, they slandered each other and they told voters that they would resolve the country’s most pressing issues just to win their votes.  Then, afterwards, they would forget about their campaign promises and would commit themselves to their fundamental objective which is why they really fought to get into power: to accumulate large sums of money which they stole from taxpayers, who had nobody to turn and complain to.

When in the middle of this great dumping ground, a party and honest leader arose, who really wanted to work on improving the country (there was only one in Cuba), a coup d’etat took place which sunk the country into a bloody dictatorship. That’s why an armed revolution was needed to get rid of this dictatorship, and its impact was so great, that political parties and their politicking were wiped out, like dinosaurs.

The Cuban Revolution took on the task of creating a democratic system, where the Cuban people would be able to participate the most they could. However, they would participate directly, not via political parties, who we can definitively say never answered to the people’s needs, but to national or foreign oligarchies and their needs. When they finally got into power, they forgot about the Cuban people.

Participatory democracy was created, where the population is the one to nominate their leaders in open neighborhood assemblies without the intervention of any political party. Municipal representatives are put forward and chosen every two and a half years and provincial representatives and National Assembly legislators are chosen every five years. Finally, the National Assembly, representing the people, chooses the State Council and its president.

Personally speaking, this is the most democratic system that exists in the world, as it isn’t interceded by money, or economic interests of any kind, as these political roles don’t receive any kind of financial compensation at any of these three levels, they only receive their salary which comes from their workplace.

This political system isn’t perfect, maybe we need to make a few tweaks here and there, but it was analyzed and discussed with the Cuban people and 98% of voters approved it in a referendum. They also proposed and approved the socialist nature of the political and social system in our Constitution as irrevocable. Therefore, it can’t be compromised or negotiated in any way, nor can it be questioned and much less receive proposals so that it returns to Capitalism and a multi-party system, promising the people that the Revolution’s achievements will not be affected.

You would have to be very naive, or malicious, to claim that a return to Capitalism or a multi-party system would respect the Revolution’s accomplishments, which are obvious and nobody can deny them, not even the most steadfast of our enemies. In a capitalist society here in Cuba, healthcare would become just another commodity, just like education, culture and sports. They would no longer be rights of the people, because they would be very expensive and would also become private businesses.

To all the naive, and especially the malicious, people out there, don’t waste your time dreaming of the Cuban people turning themselves over to this scum of politicking again. The Cuban people have a sound guardian that will never let them be betrayed, like what happened in the Soviet Union, and that guardian is the Cuban Communist Party.

Share this:

What's your opinion?

  • Moses Patterson

    Wow!! Eliot is nothing if not consistent. Since he qualified his “most democratic system that exists in the world” comment with “Personally speaking”, I can’t criticize him for it but I heartily disagree. I will also give him a pass when he claims that Cubans invented the word “politicking”. Not true but perhaps due to the translation and his limited awareness of life outside of Cuba, he is understandably ignorant. But where even brain-dead Eliot should and must be held to account is his statement “Therefore, it can’t be compromised or negotiated in any way”. Think about it. If Cuba really had this best in the world democracy, then if the Cuban people chose to do so, in accordance with democratic principles, Cubans should be able to change the form of their government as they see fit. What is democracy if not a system that can be questioned? Elio is, as usual, very wrong. But this time he is not making any sense either.

  • Nick

    One thing I do like about Havana Times is the fact that it publishes articles which represent all sides of the great Cuban Debate.
    I think Elio’s articles are wonderful.
    Firstly these articles represent the views of a very considerable portion of Cuban people.
    And secondly I like Elio’s articles because of the responses they illicit from the more fulsome supporters of right wing capitalism such as The Good Mr Patterson.
    I would actually have to disagree with Elio when he says that Cuba has the best democracy in the world.
    There is democracy in Cuba.
    But it is somewhat flawed.
    It should not necessarily seek to emulate the other examples of democracy in the region, but surely it needs to be improved upon.
    The democracy of Cuba’s big northern neighbour also needs to be improved upon.
    Say what you will about the historic influence that the Russians have had in Cuba.
    But the current Cuban President was not put there by the Kremlin.
    Whereas it would very much appear that the current president of Cuba’s big northern neighbour was indeed put there by the Kremlin.
    All round the world there are examples of democracy which need to be improved upon.

  • George

    I was struck by Fidel’s recent intervention in the National Council of the AHS: “I believe that if here in the culture it was said that there were no strategic mistakes, in the Revolution there were no strategic mistakes; There were some periods in which mechanicism, technicism, technocraticism, theories and mercachiflism invaded us (Laughter). That’s why you see me, sometimes, I react…” There are many such theories in the information age for improvement, “liquid democracy” and “direct democracy” to name but a couple, all involving the internet. These are grand ideas and if Cuba invested I’m sure it might be appealing to the youth. However, it is not new ideas that I want to convey but immortal ones. Life is change. Change is the result of the interaction between natural hierarchies and non-hierarchical existence. This is the same everywhere in the world. I would say that we witness in many parts of the world unnatural hierarchies. Corruption coming from non-hierarchical existence. In some cases this is simply down to a choice of word. How can we compare democracy with the koranic ideal of sura? Democracy is about “choice”, whereas sura is about “consultation”, democracy is “sitting on chairs”, whereas sura is “standing for your sultan”. Democracy is “freedom of debate”, whereas sura is “listening to the reflections of your sheikh”, if you analyse this you will see that both are present in Cuba, whereas the U.S. is completely devoid of either. Shame on the imperialists who seek to blind their brothers and sisters across the globe.