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Castroism wants an even more passive parliament

Several of the representatives who offered criticisms during the December sessions of the National Assembly have not been 'rewarded' with another term.

La Habana

It is no secret to anybody that all the representatives making up the National Assembly of Popular Power are unconditional supporters of the Cuban Government. However, there are always some who stand out for certain criticisms of affairs on the Island.

Reviewing several of the remarks by some representatives during the sessions of the National Assembly last December, and then reading the list of candidates proposed for the next term, we find that many of those critical parliamentarians are conspicuously absent from the aforementioned list. Here are some examples.

Representative Mirta Millán, from the Isla de la Juventud, criticized entities of the Agriculture Ministry and Construction Ministry for not applying the results of scientific studies carried out in the country.

Pablo Iznalde, from the municipality of Diez de Octubre, mentioned crimes and violations of the law at all levels of the national economy.

Giraldo Martín, from the municipality of Jovellanos, found it shocking that 26% of the country's inventories were made up of merchandise ready for sale. At the end of his remarks he posed the following questions: Is their sale poorly managed? Are their errors in their pricing? Or are the articles of very low quality...?

María Caridad Herrera, from Ciego de Ávila, spoke out about the diversions of fuel affecting every sphere of society.

Pastor Batista, meanwhile, from the municipality of Manatí, proposed that the entities responsible for the mismanagement of inventories, and for managing the demurrages of foreign vessels, stand accountable before the National Assembly.

Gilberto Miranda, from the municipality of Morón, asked why Televisión Cubana broadcasts Spanish soccer league (La Liga) games live, and broadly, while international baseball is only aired once a week, and not live.

Jorge Miranda, from Guamá, urged the national sports industry to produce more equipment allowing children and young people to play more baseball, our national sport, which is losing ground before the advance of international soccer.

None of these representatives will be invited back to the National Assembly. The Candidacy Committees intend to fill these vacancies with the athletes Mijaín López and Omara Durand; former spies Gerardo Hernández Nordelo and Fernando González Llort; and reliable regime loyalists like Elier Ramírez Cañedo, Luis Morlote, Alpidio Alonso, Nelson Domínguez, Gerardo Alfonso and Raúl Torres.

Keeping their seats will be Castroist "sacred cows" like Eusebio Lealand, Eduardo Torres Cuevas and Miguel Barnet.

Worthy of special mention are two new members of the National Assembly: Eldys Baratute, from Guantanamo; and Yusuam Palacios Ortega, from Havana. The former can be viewed as the future leader of the Asociación Hermanos Saíz, while the latter, now heading up the Fragua Martiana, is apparently being groomed as a successor to Eusebio Leal, for his oratorical skills.  

The Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior will continue to play leading roles in the regime, with a total of 18 senior officers, including the heads of the three military regions into which the Island has been divided: three-star generals Leopoldo Cintras Frías, Joaquin Quintas Solá and Ramón Espinosa Martin.

And, of course, it will include the leading figures of the Communist Party, the State, the Government and political organizations affiliated with the country's only party.

All of the candidates selected by the Candidacy Commissions, as usual, are assured election to the National Assembly. The official propaganda in the written press, radio, television, and every other form of media one can imagine, will go about "convincing" the voters that these candidates have magic wands to continue conjuring the socialist dream.

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