Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Elections set...[updated]

...for January 20 for Provincial and National Assembly seats. AP report here.

Update: A November 22 order from the Council of State has fixed December 2 as the day for candidates to be nominated for the January elections. This process will tell if Fidel Castro will continue as Cuba's chief of state (President of the Council of State), or move into another role. Members of the Council of State must first be elected to the National Assembly.

20 comments:

Fantomas said...

Si pero no son unas elecciones democraticas Phil..

Hay que aclarar esto..

Son ratificaciones a candidatos puestos con las manos

hay una gran diferencia Phil

Anonymous said...

Fantomas querido, cuando leeremos algo de tí que valga la pena, no tengo dudas de que puedes ser un poquitico más creativo, pareces un disco rayado. Te pagan por contestar a Peter? nada mas parecido.

leftside said...

Off topic, but Phil did you see the additional information coming out about the IRI poll we were talking about a few weeks ago?

Turns out the Central American surveyers did not identify themselves as such and just struck up conversations with people on the street. As the IRI itself says, "we're not claiming it's entirely scientific."

What an understatement. Everyone knows that in any country people with time on their hands hanging out on the street are not anything close to what would be considered a representative population. Similarly, when people are simply engaged in a conversation with a stranger, they are more likely to be deferential and go along with what they think the foreigner wants to hear. Any real survey professional would cry at these methods.

Perhaps this is why their question about disasspoval of the regime varied more than 40 percentage oints from a more methodologically correct Gallop poll a year earlier.

leftside said...

Also off topic (sorry, but you are slow Phil) :)

Check out this article in El Pais about the debate Monday night on Cuban TV about the "email wars" of January, where intellectuals fought back against the rehabilitation of an old Culture bureaucrat accused of playing a major role in the "quinquenio gris" - the 5 years in the 60s where cultural censorship most reared its head. Someone (Martínez Heredia) even had the cojones to mention the fact that email debates are "sterile", and that a national debate on the country's media is what is needed in cases like this.

Fantomas said...

pareces un disco rayado

lamentablemente eso del disco rayado me lo enseño la revolucion

sorry, blame fidel not me

Fantomas is not the problem in Cuba

Jose said...

hey, Phil, you know, you never seem to miss an opportunity to mock the actions, statements, writings, etc., of those who want freedom for Cuba, but you offer no opinion on the utter absurdity of the AP wire implying that Cuba's "elections" are somehow on par with democratic elections as the rest of the world understands them. What's the deal? Are you just like the reporter, who suppresses the truth to protect your access to Cuba? Or do you really believe that somehow these sham elections are meaningful?

Phil Peters said...

Jose, thanks for the comment. I didn’t see anything wrong with the AP story; I don’t see that it equated Cuba’s electoral process with that of other countries. It noted that Castro has been “unchallenged” since the beginning and that only one party is legal. That’s pretty clear. It’s a wire story, not a political science essay, I don’t fault AP for not pointing out the obvious.

By the way, what interests me about the election at this stage is not election day, but rather the fact that it forces a decision on Fidel Castro’s status. If he doesn’t run for his National Assembly seat, he effectively resigns as President of the Council of State next spring.

Fantomas, espero que esto aclare la cosa.

Lefty, where did you see IRI’s comment that the poll is not scientific? And I’m sorry my coverage has been lacking in your view, but the reason everybody can have their own blog is so everybody can post and discuss on their own blogs the important things that others miss.

Fantomas, Happy Thanksgiving. And to everyone else too. But especially to Fantomas.

leftside said...

Phil, I was not accusing you of lacking. I was joking about you being slow... just spreading news and trying to spark more discussion. My own blog has suffered quite a bit as I am getting married in a week...

The info on the IRI survey was in a USA Today piece and then a NPR interview on the cubanews group (aren't you a subscriber?). Sorry no link for that, where the IRI quote appears. Here is some:

STEWART (NPR): So this sounds very cloak and dagger and furtive. And how is this
conducted - this poll?

Mr. SULLIVAN ((Latin America Director, International Republican Institute): Well, the way we conducted it was - we got third country nationals. We got folks from other Latin American countries to go on to the island and basically strike up conversations with Cubans.... So it wasn't a door-to-door survey, but they would approach individuals who met certain characteristics, and then they would try to strike up a conversation with them.

STEWART: What guidelines did you give polltakers in terms of how to ask the questions?

Mr. SULLIVAN: .... the guidelines we gave them basically focused on how they could try to, as best as possible, get the information without triggering fear on the part of respondents or track attention...
....
Now, you know, our feeling or our view on this poll is that, you know, we're not claiming it's entirely scientific. What we are claiming, though, is that is shows just broader general trends. And a lot of the findings of the results - that the findings are, you know, very intuitive...

Agustin Farinas said...

Fantomas,
with any luck now that Leftside is getting married we might get him to spend his honeymoon in Cuba and stay tehre permanently to enjoy the fruits of the socilaism he so ardently defends. Nah, it would never happen, you see, he is a socialist in California (deep in the heart of capitalism) where is very easy to be a socialist (really a communist in disguise)and suffers the evils of capitalism just like the rest of us. As Leftside would say: Long Live the Revolution (but from afar, of course)

tranquilo said...

it's all kabuki theater. The assumption that an institutional "process" guides anything that happens in Cuba is insulting. For 50 years, it has been whatever Fidel thinks should happen, happens. Now it's in Raul's hands and this stupid exercise is only because he knows he doesn;t have the standing to replace his brother and he's trying to establish his legitimacy through a phoney process that means nothing.

Omar said...

Agustin:

The whole idea that to be a socialist and defend Cuba one should live there is a perversion. It is like saying that if you are against Capitalism you must not enjoy the tremendous technological advances it has produced. Who produced it, apolitical Martians? What if I want both to enjoy a PC and not to have people without medical insurance, homeless, or kids dying due to a diarrhea in nearby Latinamerican countries? I would say that a good way to improve the world is to move US toward left, and that requires lefties in US. Do you imagine US further shifted to the right? A nightmare!!!
I agree that socialists in US has a far better time than dissidents in Cuba. That's obvious. While it is true that today you won't be put in jail for being openly socialistic in US that is because the "socialistic threat" is far weaker compared to the robustness of the system. The same can not be said about Cuba and its perceived threats, most of them pretty real. That's the only real difference. Such a robustness is based, among other things, in a brain-washing consumerism that has the lion's share in the current environmental problems. When socialism was considered really dangerous and the anti-communist hysteria permeated the American society there were people, good people, loosing their jobs and going to jail. Does it sound familiar? Patriot Act invoked deja-vu? Do you know at least one example of a system that has managed to survive without getting tighter when a real threat knocks the door?

Congratulations to Leftside for his coming marriage! Be happy man! And make her/him happy too!

Agustin Farinas said...

Omar,
there is a simple solution for those who advocate socialism in the USA and do not feel comfortable living here in this "miserable capitalist consumer society".
A simple packing up of all your belongings, a simple call to a mover, a telephone call to contact the Cuban Interest Office in Washington and presto! move to Cuba. For those who are unhappy with the USA and love the socialist system, the choice is clear: Cuba.
Fortunately we like the system we have here and do not desire to change it to the "wonderful system" now implemented in Cuba. But if you prefer that system, please move there with my bessings and please invite Leftside to join you while you are at it. I am sure you both will be received there with open arms and then you can begin to enjoy a more just and fair system. As for me, I will take my chances with the "miserable" capitalist system, thank you.

leftside said...

Agustin has gone to repeating his 5th grade line of reasoning. It is not worthy of responding to again. Except to say, there is a reason why folks keep going off topic and resort to these kind of attacks. A revolutionary's job is to make revolution.

Anonymous said...

There is no socialism in Cuba and there has never been any. In terms of the wellbeing of the people, the present dictatorship is as removed from improving the people's lives as anything you can think of. Cubans depend more of foreign tourists and relatives abroad for their survival, than on any "goodness" of the State. The State in Cuba only exists to opress and its machine is geared towards keeping the dictatorship in power. There is no "people power" in Cuba, no democracy, no "social economy", nothing. So this argument about Leftside and his defense of something which does not exist, sale sobrando.

Anonymous said...

So, Phil, do you mean that by December we'll know wheather Fidel will "run" or not?

HavanaJournal.com said...

Right. December 2 is potentially a big day for Cuba. If Castro will not run, that's big news but he will probably run just so he can be elected again.

Have you ever seen a dictator willingly give up his day job?

Regardless, I doubt Dec 2 will come and go without any news from Cuba.

Phil Peters said...

Right. The operative sentence in the Council of State's "executive order" is as follows:

"Disponer que las Asambleas Municipales del Poder Popular se reúnan el día dos de diciembre de 2007 en Sesión Extraordinaria para efectuar la nominación de los candidatos a Delegados a las Asambleas Provinciales y a
Diputados a la Asamblea Nacional, respectivamente, del Poder Popular."

Anonymous said...

I think they will automatically "nominate" Fidel again. It is a ritual. I can't believe that as long as he is breathing and writin reflexiones, he could be left out. That will have a psycological impact on Cubans, something which the regime does not want. Although I believe that even if he does not "run", he still will be giving orders.

Anonymous said...

yes, indeed, so much for the solidity of the succession of power...

Juan Cuellar said...

Lefty is doing exactly what he criticize but I am not surprise at all. You see, the only certainty about the left is it's uncertainty. He said that people on the street are disconnected from society to minimize the IRI poll inside Cuba. But Lefty didn't know or expected that Juventud Rebelde will proof him wrong. Those people, that are very young, are more connected to the realities of the country than any others. Read it Lefty....and Phil too: El desempleo juvenil en Cuba tiene al regimen con los pelos de punta