Cuban media played up the high rate of participation, where 86 percent of eligible voters had gone to the polls by 5:00 p.m., one hour before polls closed.
Juventud Rebelde pointed out that candidates for provincial and national legislatures included “artists, campesinos, workers, housewives, and small entrepreneurs.” Fifty-two candidates were under age 35, and 48 percent between 38 and 50 years old.
Whether this will make a difference in a legislature known for unanimity remains to be seen.
When the new National Assembly is seated later this month, it will elect from among its members the 31-member Council of State and its officers. That will surely include the re-election of Raul Castro as President. If there’s any drama in this election, it will be in what follows: the election the Vice Presidents, who constitute the line of succession to the presidency. One Luis Morlote, quoted in the Juventud Rebelde article, said that the young candidates are a sign of “indispensable generational continuity to strengthen our revolutionary process.” We’ll see if that “strengthening” includes the naming of a new first vice president to replace the incumbent, age 82.