Doc. 29 rev. 1
4 October 1983
Original:  Spanish









1.          The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man establishes, in Article XX, the right to vote and to participate in government under the following terms:


Article XX.  Every person having legal capacity is entitled to participate in the government of his country, directly or through his representatives, and to take part in popular elections, which shall be by secret ballot, and shall be honest, periodic and free.


2.          Political rights, as they are considered by the Declaration, have two clearly identifiable aspects:  the right to direct exercise of power and the right to elect those who exercise it.  This is founded upon a broad conception of representative democracy which, by  definition, rests on the sovereignty of the people, and in which the functions through which power is exercised are carried out by persons chosen in free and “genuine” elections.[1]  Article 21 of the Universal Declaration and Article 23 of the American Convention of Human Rights add no substantive elements to those contained in the American Declaration.


3.          For its part, it is the doctrine of the IACHR that the exercise of the right to political participation makes possible “the right to organize parties and political associations, which through open discussion and ideological struggle, can improve the social level and economic circumstances of the masses and prevent a monopoly on power by any one group or individual.”[2]  Furthermore, the Commission has maintained that “governments have, in the  face of political rights and the right to political participation, the obligation to permit and guarantee:  the organization of all political parties and other associations, unless they are constituted to violate human rights; open debate of the principal themes of socioeconomic development; the celebration of general and free elections with all the necessary guarantees so that the results represent the popular will”.[3]


4.          It is now in order to attempt to discern how the institutional system established in the Constitution functions in practice.  For that purpose, the forms under which the participation of the people takes place will be studied; next, the forms in which political power is exercised by the leadership group will be presented, and the last section will specify the limits to political participation.




1.          Participation of the People


5.          In practice, the Cuban political system promotes broad political participation of its citizens, which is nevertheless restricted to matters of a local nature, and therefore, of limited competence; substantive political activity is restricted to a limited group, as will be seen below.  Official figures indicate that in local elections, the number of voters was extraordinarily high.  In the most recent municipal elections (1981), some 6 million people voted, or the equivalent of 97.2% of those registered.  The number of voters was also high, reaching 93.6% in the run-off elections held one week later in the districts were there were several candidates and none had obtained 50% of the votes cast on the first ballot.[4]


6.          In addition, citizens have the right to submit public complaints with respect to the quality of goods and services.  The mass organizations have even encouraged these “concrete” criticisms.  Citizens are urged to present their complaints to the elected local authorities, who in turn should report back to the community the results of steps they have taken to solve these problems.  These accountability assemblies represent an important characteristic of the political system since 1976.  In the Province of La Havana, for example, in the course of six months in 1981-82, there were 1,407 assemblies of this kind, at which 9,251 complaints or suggestions were presented to 833 delegates.  Sixty percent of these complaints was settled or received reply within six months, 16% was not solved immediately, 7% was being processed and 17% remained pending in the third quarter of 1982.  In that same period, 92,996 complaints or suggestions on specific goods and services were presented in the country as a whole.[5]  This is the positive result of the prompt reaction of local government, bearing in mind standards of comparison.  In this way, citizens have mechanisms to make those who hold local public offices accountable for the administration of governmental institutions, especially local ones.  Thus, in 1979, 40% of the authorities elected in 1976 at the local level were not reelected.[6]


7.          Participation in the officially sponsored organizations of the people is also very strong.  At the beginning of the sixties, approximately 80% of the adult population served on the Comities de Defensa de la Revolución (CDR) (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) and a comparable proportion of adult women formed part of the Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (FMC) (Federation of Cuban Women).  These high rates of participation could be an indication of agreement with the policies of the government and of the Party.  Nevertheless, it is difficult to evaluate how much political support they in fact represent for the regime.  In Cuba, membership in the people’s organizations—including the large union and peasant associations—is practically a prerequisite for any routine activity, since membership affects admission to universities, promotions, access to certain kinds of vacation or recreational activities, the obtainment of nonperishable products that require that a union certify that the buyer is an “advanced worker”.  It is this that makes it difficult to distinguish when the decision to join a people’s organization reflects a desire to support the regime, and when it is a response to the material benefits that derive from it and which cannot be obtained otherwise.


8.          Given the substantial political and material incentives for joining the people’s organizations, nonmembers find themselves in an unfavorable situation.  This can be the consequence of an individual decision not to join, even though such a decision entails a very high personal cost; nevertheless it is also probable that it is the result of a decision of the people’s organization to refuse admission.  The proportion of the adult population that belongs to the CDRs or the FMC has remained constant over a decade.  The new members of each of these organizations, for the most part, are the consequence of normal demographic growth and not of other recruitment efforts aimed at the adult population.  As President Fidel Castro explained, the only reason that there are not more members is that in recent years the organization has taken special care in the selection of its new members.  The Statutes of the CDRs, ratified at their Second Congress held in October, 1981, demonstrate how centralized political controls operate with respect to members.  If the CDR of a zone wishes to admit someone over 18 years of age, it may only do so with the express approval of the Executive Secretary of the CDR of the next highest level.  Those who do not join these organizations truly remain outside the mainstream of Cuban political life.  This may be of their own choice, but it is certainly also a result of government policy.[7]


9.          It is likely that those who are not members of these associations are represented disproportionately among those who chose to emigrate.  Preliminary data suggest that the rate of those not belonging to these organizations among those who emigrated in 1980 to the United States, was twice as high as the rate of members in the entire adult population of Cuba; in other demographic respects the majority of these emigrants were representative of the Cuban population and belonged to the labor force.[8]


10.          Although participation in the people’s organizations is quite high, it is of a predominantly consultative rather than decision-making nature.  The principal task of the people’s organizations consists of transmitting the messages of the government to the people, socializing citizens, performing the services requested by the Party and the Government and, more recently, transmitting the citizens’ practical criticisms, in accordance with the new municipal policies.  The impact of the people’s organizations of the decisions that affect them is probably less in the case of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution and greater in the Asociacion Nacional de Pequenos Agricultores (ANAP) (National Association of Small Farmers).  The Federacion de Mujeres (Federation of Women) and the Confederacion del Trabajo (labor Confederation) occupy an intermediate position.[9]


11.          It is difficult to determine in a reliable way if the CDRs have permitted effective participation in the decision-making process.  On the contrary, they appear to be essentially an instrument of control.  Their principal task continues to be revolutionary “vigilance” against the enemies of the regime, which include common criminals.  The CDRs have other tasks for neighborhood improvement and progress; they call on the citizens to participate in local activities that are important for their existence, but the national government has successfully focused their attention on the long-standing commitment to “vigilance”.  This was the fundamental motive behind their foundation and today it continues to be their chief task.  Between 1977 and 1981 the committees sent an average of 123 daily reports to the Ministry of the Interior.[10]


12.          The data on participation in labor matters is more complex.  Laws on planning and budget should presumably be discussed by the workers of the enterprises, so that they may exercise the principal function of the proletariat.  In 1978, 34% of all enterprises did not discuss the 1979 plan with the workers and 58% of them submitted the programs to the workers’ assemblies but introduced no changes in the plan as a result of Suggestions made.  In only 8% of the enterprises did the workers participate in discussion of the plan, with inclusion of some suggestions.  Even in this minority, participation was characterized by emphasis on the role of the manager, the labor and party leaders, and others holding leadership positions.


13.          Some progress was made with respect to consideration of the 1980 Plan.  Approximately 59% of the enterprises held assemblies and introduced certain changes in the Plan in accordance with proposals that were received.  Nevertheless, when the 1980 Plan was submitted to the National Assembly, Jorge Riquet, member of the party Secretariat, successfully deleted from the bill the reference to the previous participation of the workers in the plan, alleging that this was incorrect.[11]  In sum, the participation of the workers is of a consultative nature in the best of cases.


14.          Most of the work of the provincial assemblies on matters of importance is also chiefly consultative rather than effective participation in decision-making.  Although budgetary legislation provides that the provincial assemblies consider the budget bill before it is submitted to the National Assembly, in practice this was never done in the entire course of the seventies.  On the other hand, the budgetary law has been considered by the executive committees of the provincial assemblies and not by the assemblies themselves, and although there is information that it was recently presented to the provincial assemblies, the example of the national Assembly would suggest that it is unlikely that the budget has been actually discusses.[12]


15.          The extent of consultation and its possible impact on the decision-making process is greater for a subordinate national elite, despite the imposition of important restrictions.  The Cuban national Assembly, constituted overwhelmingly of members of the Communist Party, has a very limited normative role, although not an unimportant one.[13]  It meets for only five days each year, and the deputies have permanent employment elsewhere.[14]  The number of people in the National Assembly is small, which makes it possible to deal in an expeditious way with the matters that come before it during the few days on which it meets.  The life of the committees, although somewhat more active than in the early years, continues at a moderate pace.  For example, the committees that would be responsible for carrying out the work mandated by the Assembly which met in December, 1981, had not yet been installed three months later.[15]


16.          The National Assembly has little apparent impact on foreign policy, military policy or on planning and the national budget.  These matters are submitted to the Assembly, but discussions are routine and superficial.  Leadership officials have never been defeated in an Assembly vote.  The Council of State, the majority of which belongs to the Bureau of the Communist Party, governs in representation of the Assembly when the latter is not in session, which is to say nearly always.  A large part of the work of the national assembly is reduced to ratification of laws and decrees issued by the Council of State, receipt of reports, and performance of protocolary tasks.


17.          Nevertheless, subjects that are not matters of “high policy” are energetically debated in the National Assembly.  At times the authorities have withdrawn laws that have been the object of energetic criticism.  The Assembly has had significant impact on legislation regarding environmental protection and use of resources, soil rehabilitation and protection of marshlands, and on the transportation code.  Of course, these debates continue to take place within the elite of the national Assembly, but they are evidence that there is a certain degree of discussion and disagreement within the limits of the governing group.  These debates illustrate the role of leaders other than Fidel Castro, although they also portray him as the highest arbiter with authority to settle all disputes.  The leaders who probably participate the most are the members of the political leadership, of the Secretariat, of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers.  As was stated by the journal Bohemia in 1982, “not many deputies participated in the discussion concerning the most important subjects”.[16]


18.          This limited but important role of the national Assembly illustrates a general form of political stratification.  The leaders who rank below the highest officials have a moderate influence on some decisions, although the fundamental issues of the policy of the State and the Party remain outside the effective control of even an assembly that is made up of an overwhelming majority of members of the Communist Party.  Below this level, influence on the decision-making process declines rapidly, although some elements of consultation penetrate this political system that is maintained on the basis of extensive albeit controlled political participation.


19.          These political consultations legitimize the authority of the governing leaders and improve the quality of government with respect to details, but this does not mean that they can lead to substantive modifications of the current political system.  Even so, the high level of participation in daily matters by broad sectors of the population is a positive step.  This tendency to allow greater controlled participation led to an experiment with respect to local power, initiated in 1974 in the Province of Matanzas, which functioned sufficiently well to be extended to the rest of the country two years later; elections were held throughout the country at that time to fill public offices.  Nevertheless, it should also be pointed out that limited discussion of fundamental policy issues by elitist circles is very far from generating active opposition.


2.       The Group in Power


20.          The first element that draws attention is the dominant role exercised by President Fidel Castro in political life.  Although the Cuban Constitution provides that the President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers be elected and that he may be replaced by the National Assembly, the political role of Fidel Castro is so overwhelming that these constitutional procedures in reality are meaningless.  It is Fidel Castro who governs Cuba;  he is the only living person mention by name in the Cuban Constitution and he is repeatedly named in the introductory section of the Statutes of the Communist Party.  Moreover, he is treated with the highest deference by the other members of the government.  He personifies the revolution.


21.          In fact, there is an open contradiction between the constitutional provisions on collective organs and the reality of the State’s powers.  According to the former, power is shared among collective organs that proceed on the basis of majority opinions, grounded in unrestricted freedom of expression, and that obtain broad consensus due to fundamental unity in the exercise of power.


22.          Thus it is that the organ is much more important than its President.  It was stated above that the President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers, i.e., the head of Government, is subject to the respective organizations, so that the chief representative of the Government is in fact not the president of the republic, as in other constitutions, but rather the Council of Ministers.


23.          In fact, this principle is followed only with respect to the national Assembly, where the President plays no visible role either within or outside of it.  But this is not the case of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers.  Neither institution stands before the public as the governors.  That role is clearly in the hands of the President of both organs, who at all times functions as Head of Government and Secretary General of the Communist Party.  In the eyes of the public, there is no higher authority than that of this leader.  No one in or out of Cuba attributes authority, except of a secondary nature, to other figures or formal authorities.


24.          Furthermore, it should be noted that the Constitution always makes provision for smaller organizations that permanently take over the work of the principal organs.  The National assembly has the Council of State as executive and permanent organ.  In turn, the provincial and Municipal assemblies appoint an Executive Committee (Article 114); the supreme Court has a Governing Council (Article 124).  The Council of Ministers also has an Executive Committee (Article 95).  This is also the case in the Communist Party.


25.          In this fashion, the power which appears to be exercised by large corporate bodies in representation of the people is handed over, in immediate decisions, to smaller groups where the President of the Council of State, President of the Council of Ministers, President of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers and Secretary General of the Communist Party has a predominant role.  That is the reality.


26.          From a juridical and political viewpoint, the foregoing is very important since other systems rest openly on the figure of the chief, in the understanding that he assumes all power through the authentic delegation of the people who consider themselves embodied in his authority.  The problem raised by this situation is how it has come about that the severest critics of this personalistic exercise of power, who are dedicated to replacing it with a new organization with full participation of the people, offer, in the external features of their system, all the characteristics of an absolute leader.


27.          The second element to consider is that the Cuban political system is not simply a one-man government.  The other members of the principal organs of the State and the party also play principal roles in today’s Cuba, and it should be pointed out that very few changes have taken place in the membership of these higher ranks.  For example, only four of the sixteen members of the political Bureau of the Communist Party did not already hold an important position within the government in the mid-sixties (usually the position of Minister which was the highest office at that time).  Of the four exceptions, three were members of the Communist Party prior to the revolution, which had not yet formally entered the Government coalition, but who already in 1961 held high-ranking positions, as they have done since then.  Seven senior executives of the Council of State have been high-ranking government leaders since 1961.  Since 1965, only two “new” members have been added to the fourteen of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.  It can be seen from the above that the leadership of Cuba has remained practically unchanged for two decades.


28.          Moreover, the overlap among the stable elite’s that control these key political institutions is extraordinary.  Eleven of the sixteen members of the political Bureau are also members of the Council of Ministers with a direct line of responsibility; fourteen of the members of the Political Bureau of the party served on the Council of State where they held a majority.  Of the fourteen members of the Executive Committee of the Council of ministers, eight belong to the political Bureau and all are members of the Central Committee of the Party.  A combined total of twenty-two persons occupy the Political Bureau of the party, the highest executive positions of the Council of State and the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.


29.          In sum, an extremely small number of people have been in power for many years without interruption, holding all the most important political positions of the party, State and governmental institutions.  Therefore, there is no genuine political autonomy or opposition between these three institutions at the highest level of leadership, or is any of these bodies capable of avoiding the arbitrary measures adopted by one of them, because they are composed of the same people.


30.          A comparable degree of continuity can be observed at the next level of government.  For example, 84% of the members of the Central Committee in 1965 was reelected to the same posts in 1980.  In general, the members of the Central Committee who died or left office were replaced b the same kind of persons:  white men, born around 1930, who were active in the 1950’s in the struggle against the Government of Batista and who formed part of the July 26 Movement headed by Fidel Castro, and who have faithfully served the revolutionary government since 1959.  Nevertheless, approximately one-fifth of the leaders are older people, old members of the Communist Party prior to the revolution.  The proportion of non-white members on the Central Committee has been kept low and constant:  approximately 10 or 15%, although no less than one-fourth of all Cubans is not of the white race.  In 1980 women represented 12% of the members on the Central Committee, duplicating their earlier participation, although their number is still small.


31.     Since the defeat and imprisonment in 1968 of the so-called “microfaction” within the Cuban Communist Party, led by Anibal Escalante, there has been no effective opposition to political power in Cuba.  Although the formal procedures of the Party and the State theoretically allow for rotation in government, in reality this has not occurred and it is extremely difficult to imagine that is could occur.


3.       The Limits on Participation


32.          It can be seen from the above that political participation is extremely reduced with respect to both national and international substantive policy.  It is possible that this limitation is the result of the influence of several factors, especially the requirement of ideological adherence, the requirements attached to electoral mechanisms and the intolerance of the group in power toward forms of political opposition, two of which will be analyzed below.


a.          Ideological adherence


33.          Political participation, especially in substantive matters, requires an ideological adherence that can be described as dogmatic.  The origin of this requirement is to be found in the text of the Constitution and it penetrates the entirety of Cuban society.  As Marx indicated, here also ideology plays a role similar to that of cement in the construction of a building.  It serves to keep the various elements that compose it united.  Because it is closely tied to the subject of freedom of opinion, this aspect will be treated in Chapter V of this report; at this point, it is sufficient to point out its particular relevance to the exercise of political rights.


b.          Electoral mechanisms


34.          A further significant limitation of political participation is that derived from the electoral mechanisms that function at the provincial, municipal and national levels.  In this regard, it may be observed that as the Cuban regime became institutionalized, the Government undertook an opening of the political system.  The above cited experiment in local government in 1974 in Matanzas, and the elections held in 1976 throughout the country to fill public offices, reveal various characteristics that define and limit the impact of this change.[17]


35.          Direct elections are held only to fill municipal legislative offices.  There is no direct vote for any executive or legislative office except at the municipal level.  Citizens do not have the right to run of their own will and self-nomination is illegal.  Candidates must be proclaimed at an assembly in a vote by a show of hands and they cannot manage their own electoral campaigns.  Only the Communist Party and the mass organizations have the right to distribute propaganda or organize electoral meetings.  Therefore, critics of the Government cannot exchange opinions or information, and do not have the right to association.  Only the Government has the right to publish the official biography of the candidate, and he may not delete any information that the Government wishes to disseminate.  This method lends itself to being used to discourage candidates that the Government deems undesirable, and, to avoid humiliation, many of them have withdrawn from races.  The members of the party may be personally active in the assemblies for nominations to guarantee that their favorite candidates are on the lists, although the party does not formally support candidates.  The most important change introduced by the electoral legislation and which has been followed in practice, has been the requirement that there can be no fewer than two candidates for the same office in the municipal assembly.


36.          Beyond the municipal level, there are still severe restrictions on the opposition.  All delegates to the provincial assemblies, deputies in the National assembly and leaders of local municipal governments are elected by local assemblies.  The list of candidates for these offices is drawn up and presented by a committee chaired by a member of the Communist Party and made up of representatives of the Party, the Union de Juventudes Communistas (Young Communist League) and the mass organizations.  The number of candidates is only 25% higher than the number of offices.  It should be pointed out that the proportion of Party members rises steadily from the municipal assemblies to the national Assembly:  over 90% of the members of the latter are also members of the party, despite the fact that only 7% of the electorate is affiliated to it.[18]


37.          Provincial delegates and national deputies need not have been directly elected as members to the municipal assemblies.  The nomination committees, chaired by a party member, are free to nominate the candidate of their choice.  Over two-fifths of the deputies in the national Assembly have never appeared directly before their electorate, which can result in protecting them from monitoring by the people.  Electoral legislation also contains provisions for dismissal that can be employed to easily remove elected municipal delegates from office.


c.          The intolerance of the opposition


38.          Nevertheless, the intolerance of the group in power toward any form of political opposition represents the principal limitation on participation.  The constitutional basis that legitimizes this tendency is Article 61 of the Constitution that was analyzed above.


39.          Although the proscription of unconstitutional acts is reasonable, the radical text of this article limits even simple freedom of expression.  Speeches that are critical of the objectives of the Socialist State, although not linked to other actions, may be prohibited.


40.          Even the articles of Chapter VI of the Constitution on fundamental rights, duties and guarantees drastically limit the formal political rights necessary to any democratic regime.  Article 52 recognizes freedom of expression and of the press, but only “in keeping with the objectives of socialist society”.  Should this leave room for any doubt, the article further stipulates the condition that “the law regulates the exercise of these freedoms”.  Article 54 states that religious beliefs may not be used as the basis for the political opposition to the regime because it is “illegal and punishable by law to oppose one’s faith or religious belief to the Revolution”.  Freedom of expression is also limited in Article 38. Subparagraph e), where it is stated that artistic freedom exists “as long as its content is not contrary to the revolution”.  The Constitution therefore establishes the legal basis for censorship, since it is the State that determines whether oral or written expression, art, religious beliefs or actions are contrary to the revolution.  The Constitution also provides the legal basis for the State to direct all artistic, cultural, or press activities.  The above-mentioned Article 31 of the Statute of the Communist Party is a clear indicator of the limits within which even its own members carry out their activities.


41.          In fact, political practice has demonstrated that prejudice against public opposition is widespread.  Since 1960, all of the information media have been in the hands of the Government.  There are no legal means to openly challenge the policies of the Government and the Party or to compete as a group, movement or partisan organization for the right to govern, to use peaceful means to replace the Communist Party and its leaders and to set new and different policies.  The principal criticism expressed in public against Government policies comes from the very members of the upper levels of the Government.  Nevertheless, it is impossible to set forth an open and organized criticism of the policy of the Government and the Party that would make the highest leaders assume responsibility, hold them accountable, and subject them to dismissal from office.


42.          This is, therefore, a markedly authoritarian regime which has used various methods—control of information and scientific and cultural activities, imprisonment of opposition, massive migration abroad, etc.—in order to restrict and even eliminate any form of political opposition.  Although it is true that the current regime has undergone all kinds of both internal and external pressures, which authorize it to adopt exceptional measures in its defense, it is also true that the eradication of any kind of opposition—even within the Communist Party itself—is a clear statement of a political intolerance that goes beyond the limits set by the legitimate reaction of the State as a result of the need to defend itself.  Furthermore, the Commission considers that the methods employed have often been illegitimate and disproportionate to the magnitude of the faults committed, as will be seen below when the situation of political prisoners is reviewed.


43.          In view of the above, the Commission finds that, in its normative structure, the Cuban political system establishes principles, the observance of which could lead to the adequate protection of human rights.  However, the absence of the necessary separation of powers leads to a marked subordination to political power of the range of activities in Cuban society.  This situation is reinforced by the use in the Constitution of terms and concepts taken from doctrines of political philosophy which are of little use to bring about the effective observance of the principles of objectivity and legality, which are necessary guarantees against impairment of the rights of citizens by political power.


44.          The Commission also considers that the Cuban political system grants a counterproductive preponderance to the Communist Party, which, in fact, has become a stronger force than the State itself and which impedes the existence of healthy ideological and Party pluralism, which is one of the bases of a democratic system of government.  The most important state organs are controlled by members of the Communist Party who also wield decisive influence in the operation of the mechanisms for the selection of candidates to hold elective office.  This enforces an ideological adherence that may be described as uncritical and dogmatic.


45.          In the opinion of the Commission, the existence of supreme organs of a collegiate nature is a positive feature of the Cuban political order, since it emphasizes the use of negotiating procedures to obtain the necessary consensus for effective political action; in principle, the collegiate organs constitute a sound basis to achieve the broad participation of the citizenry in national policy.  The Commission points out, however, that in practice the principal organs of the State and the Communist Party have been controlled by a small group since the very beginning of the current Cuban political process. Within this group, the role played by President Fidel Castro, who in effect and in the last instance exercises power in Cuba, stands out clearly.  This situation was brought about and is maintained by the exercise of marked intolerance toward any form of political opposition, for the elimination of which illegitimate methods or methods disproportionate to the magnitude of faults committed have often been employed.  The Commission also recognizes that, in so acting, the Cuban State has responded in many instances to real and serous threats, both internal and external.


46.          The Commission considers the high level of participation of the people in matters of a local and sectoral nature, and the progressive conversion of municipal administrative positions to elective office as a positive element of the Cuban political system.  The Commission hopes that the internal and international conditions will be created to bring about the effective and authentic participation of the citizens of Cuba in the political decisions that affect them, in a framework of freedom and pluralism necessary to the effective observance of all human rights.

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[1] It will be appreciated that, the concrete exercise of these political rights is closely linked to the practice of other fundamental rights, such as, for example, the right to association and to freedom of expression.  However, for reasons of methodology, the observance of these rights is analyzed separately.

[2] IACHR, Ten Years ¼ op.cit., p.334.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Bohemia 73, No. 42 (October 16, 1981), page 48 and No. 3 (October 23, 1981), p.50.

[5] Granma, April 6, 1981, p. 4, and October 30, 1982.

[6] “Hacia las elecciones del poder popular”, Verde Olivo 20, No. 10, March 11, 1979, p.9.

[7] Gramma, January 31, 1981, p.1; October 23, 1981, p.4, January 23, 1982, p.2; Gamma Weekly Review, October 5, 1980, p.2; Bohemia 73, No. 44, (October 30, 1981, pp.48 and 52

[8] Robert L. Bach, Jennifer B. Bach and Timothy Triplett, “The Flotilla ‘Entrants’:  latest and Most Controversial,” Cuban Studies 11 No. 12 and 12 No. 1 (July 1981 – January 1982): 29-48; and Gaston A. Fernandez, “Comment – The Flotilla Entrants:  Are they Different?” ibid, pp.49-54.

[9] See Dominguez, Jorge, Cuba:  Order and Revolution, (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1978), chapter 7.

[10] Granma, October 23, 1981, p.4.

[11] “Como marcha la implantacion del sistema de direccion y planificacion de la economia?”  Bohemia 71, No. 27 (July 6, 1979), p.36; Comision Nacional de Implantacion, Sistema de Direccion y Planificacion de la Economia, Informe Central:  Reunion Nacional (Havana:  July, 1980), p. 48; Granma, December 27, 1979, p.4.

[12] Granma, July 4, 1980, p.3.

[13] Dominguez, Jorge, Cuba:  Internal and International affairs, (Beverly Hills:  Sage Publications, 1982), pp.33-38.

[14] For a discussion on the customary time limitations in the work of the national Assembly, see Granma, July 3, 1982, pp. 3-4

[15] Granma, March 25, 1982, p.1.

[16] Bohemia 74, No. 2 (January 8, 1982), p.52.

[17] This section is based on Granma of July 21, 1976, p.4; of July 22, 1976, pp.2-3; of September 2, 1976, p.1; of September 30, 1976, p.2: of November 8, 1976, p.31: of December 3, 1976, p.4: Granma Weekly review, August 22, 1976, p.4: and of July 11, 1982.

[18] Granma Weekly Review, December 28, 1980, p.12, for the number of Party members;  preliminary data from the 1981 census, in Granma Weekly Review, November 8, 1981, p.4.