Cuba Advances Towards Replacing Raul Castro

Raul Castro and Miguel Díaz Canel. File Photo: EFE

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban authorities have concluded the local elections phase, the only one with a direct vote, of an electoral process that should culminate in February with the announced replacement of the current president, Raul Castro.

This Sunday the second round of the municipal elections was held to elect the delegates (councilors) to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power in 1,103 districts in which no candidate won a majority in the first round on 26 November.

It is expected that in February elections will be held to elect deputies to the National Assembly (Parliament), who will be responsible for appointing the president and the Council of State from among its members.

In these elections there will be only one candidate for each seat and the Government/Party will promote a vote for all the candidates, to demonstrate loyalty to “the Revolution” and its historical and present leaders.

Half of the members of the legislative body will be made up of municipal delegates and the other half will be put forward by the Candidacy Commission, which is made up government approved social and labor organizations.

If everything goes in line with what was announced, Raul Castro, 86, will turn over the presidency in February 2018 to a leader without the surname Castro. However, it is expected that Raul remains in front of the all-powerful Communist Party, rector of the socio-economic and political life of the country.

Official media reported that 3,222 polling stations were activated throughout the country on Sunday conduct the second round of voting in those voting districts where none of the candidates obtained more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast on November 26th.

According to official data, the first round had a participation of more than 85% of the potential voters.

  • Michael Ritchie

    IF President Castro steps down, look for the dark horse… Alejandro Castro Espin. With a doctorate in international relations, he would be a superb choice. Diaz-Canel, not so much.

    • Eden Wong

      “… Alejandro Castro Espin. With a doctorate in international relations, he would be a superb choice…”

      You honestly think so? I’ve heard him speak quite a few times and I see nothing from him except toeing the company line that his father Raul and Uncle Fidel have set in place.

      Hope I’m wrong.

    • Olgasintamales

      In other words. Long live to the Castro’s monarchy?

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Alejandro is certainly well schooled in repression. His KGB training has been put to full use within Cuba through the CDR and MININT and also internationally – although the so-called “Cuban Five” failed, got caught, tried and jailed. But the interesting moment will be when Raul kicks the bucket (British expression for expiring), when there could be a power struggle between Alejandro, his brother-in-law on one hand both of whom are military, and Diaz-Canel, Bruno Rodrigiuez and Marino Murillo ( the political troika) on the other hand. They all possess a lust for power and under communism there is only one dictator.

    • This is the Zodiac Speaking

      If that were to happen expect war with America to become inevitable.

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        I think that is an overstatement. The US managed to work with Alejandro Castro Espin during the negotiations in Canada which resulted in the resumption of diplomatic relations. Remember the words of Winston Churchill when recognizing Red China:
        “There is a difference between recognizing something and liking it.”
        As far as Cubans are concerned, there is only bad news on the horizon. They have no voice in determining who will be the next dictator. Michael Ritchie’s enthusiasm for Alejandro Castro Espin as a: “superb choice” shows a total lack of concern for Cubans who already suffer MININT and the CDR.
        As demonstrated in Zimbabwe. it is the military who have the last word.

      • larrybudwiser

        Me thinks that you over estimate the interest in Cuba by Americans. The only time that Cuba comes into the news here (outside of old cars and cigars) is when of our (Cuban or American) pulls some boneheaded move. 90% of Americans think Gitmo is just outside of Detroit.