One-Third of Cubans Refuse to Vote in Sham Communist Elections

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel votes at a polling station during the first round of th
Omara Garcia Mederos/Pool Photo via AP

More than a third of Cubans have expressed their refusal to participate in the Castro regime’s sham legislative elections next Sunday, as they find little to no point in casting their vote for the regime’s handpicked communist candidates, according to a poll conducted by the survey agency Cubadata published on Wednesday.

The results of Cubadata’s poll revealed that 36.5 percent are considering abstaining from participating in Sunday’s sham election, with more than 73 percent answering that they believe that Cuba’s electoral system is neither legitimate nor fair.

The Castro regime will hold a legislative election on Sunday, where Cubans will be able to cast their vote and “choose” between 470 candidates that will occupy the 470 seats of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

The election is far from being free and fair — as the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) controls every step of the electoral process. Being a one-party state, all candidates are handpicked by the PCC through local committees that are controlled in its entirety by the party. Since none of the candidates have a rival in the farcical election, their “victory” is guaranteed.

The Castro regime has artificially inflated turnout numbers in previous elections by threatening Cuban citizens. Refusing to participate in one of the regime’s election charades places Cuban citizens at risk of loosing access to food, housing, and jobs.

For the upcoming election, the Castro regime un-retired 91-year old Raúl Castro, former dictator of Cuba and his brother Fidel’s top executioner. Since there is only one candidate per available seat,  the former dictator is assured a seat in the Cuban parliament. Likewise, the regime’s figurehead president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, is one of the candidates, and is slated to be re-elected to the position of president of Cuba.

In spite of the threats that come with refusing to participate in the sham election, a growing number of Cubans have openly expressed their intention to abstain.

“There are no options,” Humberto Avila, a 77-year old retired Cuban university professor told Reuters. The professor explained to Reuters that he sees no point in voting in an election with 470 candidates and 470 seats.

Last November, Cuba saw record-low turnout because 31 percent of the electorate refused to participate — the highest abstention rate in 40 years.

The growing refusal to participate in the regime’s sham elections goes hand in hand with growing discontent against the ruling Castro regime, which has brought Cuba to near ruin after six decades of communist rule.

Throughout 2022, Cubans held nearly 4,000 registered protests against the Castro regime, setting new historic records as Cubans continue to suffer through the precarious state of Cuba’s public utilities and its crumbling healthcare system, rampant food and fuel shortages, soaring inflation, and lack of housing and transportation.

The inhumane conditions that the Castro regime continues to subject its citizens to paved the way for the worst migrant crisis in Cuban history, with nearly 300,000 having fled to the United States during 2022.

Yuliesky Amador, a law professor at Cuba’s University of Artemisa, told Reuters that Cuba’s current precarious conditions will make Sunday’s election the most “complex” since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1993, who was Cuba’s former benefactor.

“Many people are saying, ‘I am not going to vote because the elections do not solve my problems,'” he said.

Amador estimated that the nearly 300,000 Cubans who fled from communism into the United States in 2022  — which represent nearly 3 percent of the island’s entire population — remain on Sunday’s voting rolls.

“It’s worrying because we’re not talking only about abstention,” Amador said. “We’re talking about a substantial percentage of people who won’t be here to vote on March 26.”

“Maria,” a 21-year-old Cuban, told EFE that  the biggest act of rebellion in Sunday’s parliamentary elections on the island will be to “spend the day in bed.” 

“My hours of sleep are worth more,” she said, noting that the elections not only do not represent her, but they matter “zero” to her.

“I don’t see it as an ideological thing, it’s more like nonconformity,” she continued. “Normally you go because you have to, not because you want to.”

The independent website Cubanet interviewed several Cuban citizens, who expressed their refusal to participate in Sunday’s sham election.

“I have never voted for the Castros’ dictatorial system, and now much less,” said one interviewee. “This is the same garbage, a tall tale. And the people are starving.

“No, boy, no,” another Cuban citizen answered.

“Even if there are these elections and more others, there will never be changes with this system,” an unnamed 58-year old said. “This is called ‘step back so I can step up.’ You don’t vote for anyone, that’s already chosen.” 

“Whoever they put in is the same thing with the same thing, there is no benefit, no improvement, ” a resident of Holguín said. “Every day backwards and backwards. There is no rice anywhere, not even in the spiritual centers. There is no oil, and clandestine rice is available at a thousand [Cuban pesos] and some.”

Cuban dissidents living in Miami launched a campaign in February to promote abstention at Sunday’s elections, demanding Cuba’s right to hold free, inclusive, transparent, and democratic elections.

According to the news website Cibercuba, which cited a provincial committee official who declined to be identified, the Castro regime will enact a “house-to-house campaign, under the pretext of instructing the vote,” to force Cubans to participate.

“Our leaders are very concerned about abstention and a group of officials and grassroots militants have been selected to detect the population’s intentions about going to vote,” the source said. “The order is to turn towards the places with greater potential of abstention; greater amounts of food and drink and try to solve some problem that affects their neighbors; to change their intention of not exercising the vote.”

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