Fidel Castro on Elections and Representation in Cuba

We do have a National Assembly "even though many people are unaware of it" characterized by a democratic spirit that fills us with pride because it is the neighbors who put up the candidates, nominate them for delegates of their districts, and elect them by direct and secret ballot. No candidate is nominated by the party. They are all freely nominated by the district residents "no more than eight and no less than two candidates, from whom one is chosen" and elected on the basis of their own merits and capacity.

These district delegates make up the municipal assemblies and these municipal assemblies, established at the grassroots level, nominate the candidates for delegates to the provincial assemblies and for deputies to the National Assembly. These delegates must also be elected by direct and secret ballot and must obtain over 50% of the votes cast.

Almost half of that National Assembly is made up of these district delegates who are, as I have explained, nominated and elected by the people, with no intervention by our Party. The only role played by the Party is to guarantee compliance with the procedures set forth in our Constitution and our laws for the electoral process.

Nobody needs to spend a penny, not a single one. The district candidates campaign together as a group, as do the candidates to the National Assembly, who are nominated in every municipality, proportionally to the size of each municipality, although every one must have a minimum of two deputies in the National Assembly. This is the procedure, the method we have developed to guarantee the democratic principle.

From Cuba Issue Collective speech in New York's Riverside Church, September, 2000