The one-party communism in the state outlaws all political pluralism, including the ban of independent media, restriction on civil liberties, and suppression of dissent. Despite all the recent forms that promote private-sector activity, the government still manages to dominate the island country. The citizens of the country state that the undemocratic character of the country has not changed, despite the reforms in political leadership that took place between 2018 and 2020.
Between these years, a new constitution was also introduced in the country, which did not drastically cause any impact on its officials.
Key Developments after 2020
Cuba performed key reforms after 2020, which has brought the country closer to democracy. Here are some of them:
- The COVID-19 pandemic was efficiently controlled by the government, leading to 145 deaths by year-end, as reported by WHO. However, its effect on other parts of the world severely affected the Cuban economy. In July, the government responded by liberalizing trade rules and regulating the small private organizations to trade freely. They also expanded experiments with all the non-agricultural sectors.
- The government sometimes took advantage of COVID to crack down on the incident gatherings. When members of the MSI gathered to protest against the arrest of rapper Denis Solis, the police and the government involved themselves. They detained them to prevent the spread of the pandemic and filed cases of harassment—violation of health restrictions, and intimidation.
The electoral process
According to the 2019 reforms in the constitution, the elected President and the vice president serve a term of five years as stated by the National Assembly. After that, the Prime Minister, followed by the Council of Ministers, is elected on the proposal of the President.
The National Assembly is directly elected to serve a term of 5 years. However, they are designed by PPC-controlled commissions, which present single candidates for every seat. They are selected if they receive more than 50% of the votes.
Only the municipal assemblies allow more than one candidate for the seat, without campaigning. This rule did not change in the reformed electoral law, which was altered unanimously in 2019.
Political participation and pluralism
According to the constitution, PPC is the driving force of the state and society, where other political parties are deemed illegal. However, many detentions take place without legal oversight, with confiscating belongings, followed by threats and beatings. Such politically motivated detentions were part of vital repressive tactics under Raul Castro’s government and are still being continued under Dia Canel.
Since the 1960s, the PPCC has monopolized the government and its politics in Cuba, which allows no electoral competition from succeeding through a democratic power transfer. Although independent candidates were introduced in 2017, the authorities successfully blocked their candidatures, ensuring they did not appear on the ballot.