100% of Cuba’s eligible population has received at least one dose of a nationally developed COVID-19 vaccine

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Reposted with permission from a Cuban friend

The Cuban Constitution after the revolution was a result of thousands of discussions in community meetings, involving more than 6 million citizens, which was pretty much the entire adult population of Cuba at the time.

From 2017, a new constitution was written, also from the bottom up, which recognised same sex marriage and private businesses, which is ultimately better because they are now regulated.

Cuba has 169 municipal assemblies, and each one has an election every two and a half years. Every fifth year, three months after the municipal elections, there is an election to the parliament—the National Assembly of People's Power—as well as to the 14 province assemblies.

More recently, Cuba has created a Federal system subordinate to the State. This has created the position of governor in the Provincial level.

All Cuban elections have had turnouts of over 95% ever since 1976. It is not a requirement for you to be a member of the Communist party of Cuba to vote or to be elected to any position, and the Communist Party does not propose, support, nor elect any candidates. No one here has gone to an election and been presented a ballot paper and told, these are the Party members for whom you have to vote, nor is anyone nominated for being a Party member.

Anyone over the age of 16 can vote and can be nominated to be a candidate for election in one of the 169 Municipal Assemblies or one of the 14 Provincial Assemblies, however you must be at least 18 years old to become a candidate for a seat in the National Assembly.

Neither money nor political parties have a place in the nomination process. Instead, individuals directly nominate those who they think should be candidates. As a result, the Cuban Parliament has representatives from across society, including a high proportion of women: 48.9%

Furthermore, 88% of Cubans participate in what is basically a system of direct democracy. The Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDRs) allow anyone over the age of 14 to join, and they meet a minimum of once every three months to plan the running of the community; including the organisation of public health campaigns to promote good health and prevent disease; the upkeep of the area in terms of waste and recycling; the running of voluntary work brigades, and providing the adequate support to members of the community who are in need of help.

The CDRs also discuss nationwide issues and legislation and feed back their proposals to the National Assembly and other organs of popular democracy. But at the heart of the Cuban democratic system is the locally elected delegate.

Prior to the municipal elections, residents of all the neighbourhoods of that municipality gather to a meeting in order to nominate candidates. you're nominated, you're free to either accept or decline the nomination.

If several people are nominated, a meeting appoints a person whom the neighbourhood trust as their candidate via discussion and show of hands. Up to 8 adjacent neighbourhoods make up a constituency. Election promises or electoral pledges are forbidden.

On election day the elections are conducted via secret ballot like in most democratic countries. Then a minimum of two and a maximum of eight candidates from a single constituency are to be elected to the municipal assembly.

As an elected representative, you don't receive a special wage, but you also don't have to pay for related expenses out of your own pocket. You remain at your normal job, carrying out the civic duties in own time.

The duties of a delegate are many and varied and the role is demanding, requiring an understanding of public policy and finance, business and administration, and the ability to negotiate, explain, motivate and lead.

And because you're known to almost every one of your electors, and you live among them, people will call on you at all hours of the day and night with all manner of problems.

Delegates carry out the inspection and monitoring of services provided by the Municipal administration, and of the factories, shops and businesses in their area. The National Assembly is practically the parliament of Cuba.

Out of the Assembly's 612 seats, exactly 50% consists of nominated delegates from mass organisations (namely the CDRs, the Women's Federation, the trade unions, the Students' Association, and the Association of Small Farmers) and 50% Municipal delegates.

The elections to the National Assembly take place every five years at the same time as the Provincial Assembly elections. Deputies in the National Assembly are from all walks of life and like municipal deputies they do not receive a special wage for being deputies.

The National Assembly is responsible for electing the 31-body Council of State, which is the governing body of Cuba, like a Prime Minister's Cabinet. It contains one President of the Council of State, whom you can think of as the prime minister of Cuba, as well as 6 vice presidents, a secretary, and 23 additional members.

Can everyone vote? Yes, if you were born in Cuba you are automatically registered to vote. There is no need for you or your parents to do any paperwork or pay any tax. You can vote in all elections when you turn 16 and you can also participate in local elections.

Will everyone know who I voted for? Will the secret police come get me if I vote for someone the government doesn't like? No, voting is done via secret ballot, so no one knows who you voted for except you.

Do I have to vote? If you don't want to, then no you don't have to. Voting is completely voluntary.

If I'm super rich, can I spend all my millions promoting candidates that I like? No, it is illegal to spend money promoting candidates. Candidates' biographies and their reasons for standing are simply displayed on local notice boards so that every candidate is covered.

Political parties are permitted in Cuba, however they are not allowed to nominate or campaign for candidates. This includes the Cuban Communist Party which is forbidden by law from interfering in the electoral process.

The Cuban Communist Party is really a product of Cuban history. The Cuban Communist Party traces its ideological roots to the Cuban Revolutionary Party founded by Cuba's national hero, Jose Marti, in exile in New York in 1882. Its purpose was to free Cuba from Spanish rule by uniting into a single party all those who wanted Cuban self-determination.

Following the 1959 Revolution which swept out the US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, Cuba's progressive forces began a process of uniting into a single party, which finally came to fruition six years later when the PCC was formed in 1965. Today one in six of Cuba's eleven million people are Party members. To become a member of Cuba's Communist Party, a person must be first nominated by fellow workers or neighbours and then voted in by their local branch.

Now, if you really want to criticize Cuba, maybe do so more informed. Or criticize the really problematic stuff like widespread corruption in state run enterprises, or the shit judiciary system, but don't go on repeating western propaganda

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