Elections in Cuba
Elections in Cuba involve nomination of municipal candidates by voters in nomination assemblies, nomination of provincial and national candidates by candidacy commissions, voting by secret ballot, and recall elections.Since Cuba became a one-party republic and the Communist party became the official political party, the Cuban political system has been condemned by certain opposition groups, international groups, and foreign governments. Some governments and international groups have also praised the nature of the Cuban political system. Although the media is operated under the supervision of the Communist Party’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which ""develops and coordinates propaganda strategies"", the Cuban government contends that the Cuban political system is democratic. The nature of the political participation in Cuba has fostered discussion amongst political writers and philosophers. Varied conclusions have been drawn, with those arguing there is some form of democracy describing it as a grassroots democracy, a Soviet democracy, or a revolutionary democracy; not a liberal democracy. The Cuban political system is normally described as undemocratic by human rights groups and academics and is usually described as a dictatorship or a totalitarian state.Fidel Castro, leader of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), was in power, first as Prime Minister and then as President, from 1959 until 2008. Castro's brother Raúl Castro was officially designated Fidel's successor at a Communist Party congress in October 1997. Fidel Castro officially retired on February 19, 2008, leaving his brother as the sole candidate for president.