April 19, 2015

hISTORY eNDS EVERYWHERE:

2 Cuban dissidents up for election in unprecedented vote (ANNE-MARIE GARCIA and MICHAEL WEISSSENSTEIN, 4/18/15, AP) 

At least two dissidents made it past a first round of voting and are standing as candidates in municipal elections that will be watched on and off the island Sunday as an unprecedented test of Cuba's single-party system.

Both men told The Associated Press that they expect to win the second round and become the first officials elected from outside the Communist Party since the first electoral law was established by Fidel Castro's government in 1976. Outside observers said the mere fact that dissidents Hildebrando Chaviano and Yuniel Lopez are on the ballot is the first indication Cuba's leadership may be softening at least the appearance of its monolithic control of politics.

"This wasn't an accident, especially since it's two different people," said Ted Henken, a Cuba expert at Baruch College in New York. "I think the government is taking the challenge instead of silencing it. It can be portrayed as a further sign of liberalization."

Posted by at April 19, 2015 9:52 AM
  

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