#25 Questions and Answers about the Cuban Political System

X Cuba is the application for the Android operating system, created by the youth and aimed at the youth, with the purpose of getting acquainted with the manner in which the people exercise power in the country. The application is available at www.parlamentocubano.cu

Those questions you have always asked yourself about the Cuban political system, and for which you did not have all the answers, are now available with the application for the Android operating system created by KaleydoBit.

What is Kaleydobit? Well it is a group for the development of mobile phone    applications from the School of Maths, Physics and Computing at the Marta Abreu Central University of Las Villas, which in cooperation with the Law department and the National People´s Power Assembly have developped other apps after the 7th Congress of the Party.

What can you find in X Cuba? You´ll see that the application will offer you plenty of information, but with the right tools so you can successfully surf on every field. Very instructive spaces and the essential laws and articles ruling in every country –including the constitution of the Republic- are accompanied by phrases from Martí and Fidel about the political power with pictures of the elections.

Now you can download X Cuba on the website www.parlamentocubano.cu. I offers a selection of questions and answers which you can find in the section.

  1. How is power exercised by the Cuban people
  • Directly or through the the People´s Power Assemblies and the rest of the state bodies arising from them, according to the norms stated by the Constitution and the laws.
  1. What are the principles of organization and operation of state bodies?
  • All members or representative bodies of state power are elected and replaceable.

-The masses control the activity of the state agencies, their deputies, delegates and officials.

  • Those elected are obligated to render account of their performance and can may be recalled from their positions at any time.
  • Every State organ develops in a far-reaching manner, within its jurisdiction, initiatives aimed at taking advantage of the resources and possibilities which exist in a local level and strives to include the social and mass organization in its work.
  • Inferior State organs are responsible to superior ones and must render accounts of their work.
  • Freedom of discussion, criticism and self-criticism, and subordination of the minority to the majority prevail in all collegiated State organs.
  1. Does the Communist Party of Cuba propose or nominate a candidate?

-No. Elections are conceived without the participation of electoral political parties. It is the people who have the faculty to propose and nominate candidates.

  1. What are the fundamental principles of the Cuban Electoral System that distinguish it from any other?
  • The Register of Voters is automatic, public and free.
  • The propaganda of the elections is exclusive faculty of the national Electoral Commission. No candidate can campaign in his or her favor.
  • Polling stations and ballots are symbolically cared for by primary and secondary school students.
  • The vote counting that takes place at the polling stations is public and the neighbors and foreigners who live or visit Cuba are invited to take part.

–  The elect do not receive economic remuneration.

  1. How does the People´s Power System work?
  •  With independence from one body or another, but complementing each other. This allows – together with the subordination of the lower and higher organisms – to ensure the necessary normative, methodological and resource planning centralization, and to guarantee the indispensable autonomy of each instance of the People´s Power to make decisions.
  1. What obligations do the delegates have with their constituents?
  • Maintain a real, permanent and systematic link, attending and making feasible the issues raised by these.
  • Work constantly to know the problems that affect their voters and the causes that generate them, and to demand the adoption of the measures that are required to solve them, in order to obtain a rapid response and to contribute to increase its authority before the voters.

-Meet with the electors at least twice a year to render account of their mandate.

-Require that you never stop giving an explanation to every citizen who is going to request something, so you will never be told if you can or can not solve your problem.

  1. What is the fundamental basis of the delegates´ actions?

–  As representatives of the people, they exercise state power. Together, they exercise government and intervene in state decisions that affect the entire community. Through these representatives, the masses systematically and regularly take part in the affairs of the Government of society and in the discussion and solution of problems.

Since the maximum power is held by the constituency masses, they grant the delegated power to represent them in problems, complaints and opinions during the five years of their term.

  1. What is the People´s Council?
  • It is a local organ of the People´s Power of representative character, invested with the highest authority to carry out its functions. It comprises a territorial demarcation, supports the Municipal People´s Power Assembly in the exercise of its power and it favors a better knowledge and attention of the needs and interests of the inhabitants in its area of action.

It represents the demarcated area in which it operates and it is a representative of the municipal, provincial and national organs of the People´s Power before the population, as well as the entities and institutions located therein. It does not constitute an intermediary body for the purposes of the political-administrative division and, without having subordinate administrative structures, exercises the powers and functions conferred on it by the Constitution and laws, with the active participation of the people in the interests of the community and the whole society.

The People´s Council is established with its delegates elected in the districts it comprises and representatives designated by the mass organizations, institutions and major entities of the demarcation may also belong to them.

  1. What are the powers and functions of the People´s Council?
  • To fulfill and demand the fulfillment of the Constitution and other laws of the country, the policy that the superior organs of the State designate and the mandates appointed to it.
  • To contribute to strengthen the cohesion among the delegates that make up the People´s Council, to support their work and to support them.
  • To work for the satisfaction of the population´s care-related, economic, educational, cultural and social needs and in the search for solutions.
  • Demand efficiency in the development of production activities and services to the entities located in their area of action and support their implementation.
  • Coordinate the actions of the existing entities in their area of action and promote cooperation among them.
  • Control and supervise the activities of the entities of the demarcation, regardless of their level of subordination.
  • Promote the participation of the population, institutions and entities of the demarcation to develop initiatives that contribute to achieve the greatest progress in the tasks that are proposed.
  • To contribute to the development of defense.
  • To contribute to the strengthening of socialist legality and internal order.
  • Support the work of prevention and social care.
  • To acknowledge neighbors, workers, students, combatants, institutions and entities that have excelled in the fulfillment of their social duties, in contributing to the solution of community problems, or for having achieved other merits.
  1. What is the supreme organ of the State power?
  • The National People´s Power Assembly, which represents and expresses the sovereign will of the whole people. It is the only body with legislative and constitutional power in the Republic. It is elected for a five year-term.
  1. How is the National Assembly of People´s Power composed?      
  • Of deputies elected by free, direct and secret ballot of the voters in the proportion and according to the procedures the law determines. It holds two regular sessions a year and a special session when requested by one-third of the membership or when called by the Council of State.
  1. Who is responsible for the legislative initiative?
  • The Deputies.
  • The Council of State.

-The Council of Ministers.

  • The National Assembly Commissions.
  • The National Committee of the Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions and the national offices of other social and mass organizations.
  • The office of the Attorney General of the Republic, in matters within its jurisdiction.
  • The citizens (it is indispensable prerequisite that the proposal be made by at least 10, 000 citizens who are elegible to vote.
  1. What are the functions of the Permanent Working Committees of the National Assembly of People´s Power? 
  • Assist the National Assembly and the Council of State in the highest inspection of State and Government organs, elaborate draft laws and agreements, dictate on the matters that are submitted to its examination, carry out the studies that are entrusted to them , And take part in the verification of compliance with the decisions adopted by the National Assembly and the State Council that are programmed in their work plans.
  1. What actions do the Commissions perform to fulfill their duties?
  • Call for hearings and carry out investigations that allow them to deepen in concrete subjects, for which they may hold meetings with leaders, officials, specialists and citizens, as well as conduct surveys, efficiency analyzes and any other tasks and activities necessary to evaluate the subject.
  • Visit institutions of the State and Government that allow them to verify compliance with laws and agreements and interview to have useful information for analysis.
  • Reclaim the information they need for their work from state bodies, agencies, mass organizations and economic, scientific and social entities, which will be provided within a period of no more than 30 days. If the information is classified, the request is made in accordance with the established procedures in force on State Secrecy, through the President of the National Assembly.
  1. Who can be elected deputy to the National People´s Power Assembly?
  • Anyone over 18 years of age, who is in full enjoyment of their political rights, is a permanent resident in the country for a period of not less than five years before the election and is not included in the exceptions in the Constitution and the law.
  1. What are the duties of the deputies?    
  • They have the duty to carry out their work in the interests of the people, to maintain contact with their constituents, to hear their proposals, suggestions and criticisms, and to explain the policy of the State to them. Likewise, they will render account of the fulfillment of their functions.

They also have the following duties:

–       To maintain a conduct in accordance with the ethical principles that correspond to his condition of Deputy.

–       Refrain from invoking or making use of his condition for personal benefit or in the exercise of improper actions in favor of third parties.

–       To fulfill the agreements of the National Assembly insofar as they concern them.

–       Attend on time the Sessions of the National Assembly and the meetings of the Commissions of which they are part.

  1. What are the rights of the deputies?
  • To take part with voice and vote in the Sessions of the National Assembly and in the meetings of the Commissions they belong to.
  • To attend with voice but without vote to the meetings of the Commissions they are not part.
  • Request and obtain from the state organs and agencies, as well as companies and entities, at different levels, the information that is necessary for the exercise of their functions.
  • Exercise the legislative initiative.
  • Request that the National Assembly express itself on the constitutionality of a decree-law, decree or other general provision.
  • Ask questions to the Council of State, the Council of Ministers and the members of one or another body and obtain the answer of these.
  • Be received to discuss matters related to the exercise of their function by officials of the Central State Administration, local bodies of the People´s Power and subordinates to the National Assembly of People´s Power and the Council of State.
  • Request the action of the authority empowered before any transgression of the law known and receive a response on it.
  • To receive support and facilities from the local organs of the People´s Power and from the auxiliary offices of the National Assembly within their reach that contribute to the better fulfillment of their obligations.
  • To attend with voice but without vote to the sessions of the Municipal People´s Power Assembly and to those of the Council of State.
  1. Do deputies render account of their management?
  • They do to the Municipal People´s Power Assembly of the territory for which they were elected, once in office or at any other time that it decides.
  1. Can delegates and deputies be removed from office?
  • Yes. Both delegates and deputies at all levels can be removed from office at any time, in the way, according to the causes and the established procedures.
  1. How often do elections take place?
  • “There are general and partial elections. In the first, every five years, to renew the assemblies in the three instances of People´s Power: municipal, provincial and national; And in the second, every two and a half years, only to renew the municipal assemblies.
  1. Is voting mandatory?
  • No, it is free, equal and secret. It is a constitutional right and a civic duty that is exercised on a voluntary basis.
  1. Why are Candidate Commissions created?

-To elaborate and present the draft nominations of Delegates to the Provincial People´s Power Assemblies and of Members of the National People´s Power Assembly and to cover the positions elected by these and the Municipal People´s Power Assemblies.

  1. What is the Council of State?
  • The organ of the National People´s Power Assembly which represents it in the period between sessions, puts its resolutions into effect and complies with all other duties signed by the Constitution. It is collegiate and for national and international issues, it is the highest representative of the Cuban State.
  1. How is the President of the Council of State elected?
  • The deputies elected by the people nominate and vote the 23 members of the Council of State, as well as its Secretary, five Vice-presidents, First Vice-president and President, who is the Head of State and Government.
  1. What is the Council of Ministers?  
  • It is the highest-ranking executive organ and constitues the Government of the Republic. It is composed of the Head of State and Government, as its President, the First Vicepresident, the Vicepresidents, the Ministers, the Secretary and the other members that the law determines. It renders account periodically of all its activities to the National People´s Power Assembly.

*The questions and answers have a selection of available materials on the website www.parlamentocubano.cu and of the X Cuban application

Why is there a single party in Cuba?

(…) Multi-partyism is the great instrument of imperialism to keep societies fragmented, divided into a thousand pieces; Turns societies into societies powerless to solve problems and defend their interests.

A country fragmented into ten pieces is the perfect country to dominate it, to subdue it, because there is no will of the nation, since the will of the nation is divided into many fragments, the nation´s effort is divided into many fragments, the Intelligences are all divided, and what he has is a constant and endless struggle between the fragments of society.

A Third World country can not afford that luxury. They really do give a lot of them, of course they have been giving it to them for a long time, and most of them have long been subjugated and dominated.

Of course in a society that has to face the problems of underdevelopment and has to develop amid such difficult conditions it turns out to develop in today´s world, unity is essential.

(…) So I have the deepest conviction that the existence of a single party is and must be, for a long historic period that no one can foresee until when, the way of political organization of our society (…) (Taken from the speech pronounced by the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro at the closure of the 10th Period of Regular Sessions of the third Legislature of the National People´s Power Assembly)

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