OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11:39.- Thus far, over 146,500 voters have cast their ballots in Las Tunas, according to the Provincial Electoral Commission.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11:35.- According to María Esther Bacallao, secretary of the National Electoral Commission over two million people or 29.18 % of the electorate, had voted by 9 a.m. today.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:56.- From Artemisa, Central Committee member and First Party Secretary in the province, José Antonio Valeriano Fariñas, spoke about today’s elections are the democratic model created by Fidel. Our democracy is one of the cleanest in the world, as it’s the people who nominate, he noted. “It’s a genuine people’s democracy, where the best, most able and revolutionary individual is chosen,” he noted.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:40.- After voting, National President of the Federation of University Students (FEU) Raúl Alejandro Palmero, described the election process as a “genuine expression of people’s power.” He went on to note that these are the first elections to take place after Fidel’s death, whose example is a source of inspiration for the 300,000 students who will be exercising their right to vote for the first time this Sunday. “Fidel is the main architect of the democratic process we are experiencing today,” stated Palmero.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:25.- These elections are a tribute to Fidel’s life and work, stated Ulises Guilarte.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:24.- Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, a Party Political Bureau member and secretary general of the Cuban Workers’ Federation (CTC) casts his vote. Speaking to the press he noted that the CTC has been involved in organizing the election process in order to ensure that everyone can vote.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:20.- Regarding reasons why people will be voting today, Lima Corzo noted that 52% of those affected by Hurricane Irma in the province have received materials to repair their homes, while 38% have already fixed their houses, despite the severity of damage.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:19.- The Party Secretary in Villa Clara noted that the province has worked hard to ensure that the electoral process run smoothly, despite being one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. In this sense she noted that the 3,803 nomination assemblies in the province’s 978 circumscriptions went ahead on schedule, with 74.29% participation.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:18.- We cannot fail the Comandante en Jefe on a day like today, when so many things for the future of our democracy are being decided, one of the cleanest and most participatory in the world, stated Lima Corzo, President of the Civil Defense Council in Villa Clara.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:07.- Speaking to the press Machado Ventura stated that the Cuban people will continue to move forward, as it has always done, despite the tightening of the blockade and harmful actions by the United States.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:05.- The Cuban official also highlighted the important number of women and young people among those nominated. The youth is showing signs of a strong identification with the Revolution. This genuine sentiment has been seen across the island over these days of tribute to Fidel.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:02.- Machado Ventura noted that despite the impact of Hurricane Irma elections have been proceeding well thus far, and congratulated the over country’s over 200,000 electoral authorities.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10:00.- Second secretary of the Party Central Committee and a Vice President the Councils of State and Minister, José Ramón Machado Ventura, cast his vote.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

09:55.- In the neighborhood of Sansariq, in Yaguajay, there were two things Hurricane Irma was unable to destroy: the mythical Ceiba tree adored by locals and which today stands taller, stronger and greener than ever, and the resolve of residents. Since early this morning, members of circumscription number seven, have been lining up at the Camilo Cienfuegos Polytechnic Institute – today a polling station – to choose representatives from their area to the Municipal Assembly of Peoples Power.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

09:48.- After casting his vote, decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba Orlando Cardoso Villavicencio stated that in a world as complicated as the one we live in today, where elections take place amid corruption and unrest, it’s good to see so much peace and transparency in Cuba. In Cuba elections are a celebration of truth and dignity, he noted.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

09:36.- The President of the CEN highlighted the importance of the trial run conducted on November 19, which allowed mechanisms to be adjusted and pre-arranged alternatives implemented in order to ensure elections today run smoothly.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

09:30.- Polling stations opened at 7am this morning and so far elections have proceeded without problems, according to Alina Balseiro, President of the National Electoral Commission (CEN)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:40.- Cuban television is providing special coverage of elections from across the country.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:35.- Candidates were chosen by, and from among, members of local circumscriptions. The Party does not propose candidates and there are no electoral campaigns.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:18.- Polling stations are open today from 7am to 6pm. If all voters have cast their ballot before 6pm the President of the local Electoral Commission will announce the end of voting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:16.- Neighbors pay tribute to Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz at the polling station where he usually voted; recalling anecdotes and memories of the revolutionary leader. The space also features an exposition of photos of the historic leader of the Cuban revolution participating in elections.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:11.- Today is also tribute to Fidel, an expression of our commitment to him, to the Revolution and to Raúl, stated Díaz-Canel after casting his ballot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:10.- These elections send a message to the world of unity around the revolutionary process, a message that Cuba will not waver in the face of external pressure or the forces of nature, stated Díaz-Canel.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:08.- The Cuban official noted candidates are individuals with strong values from local communities, and nominated directly by the people on the basis of their merits, abilities and commitment to the people.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:06.- We have arrived at this point and once again shown the mobilizing capacity of the Revolution, stated Díaz-Canel, who went on to highlight the success of the electoral process thus far, despite the impact of Hurricane Irma.
He also stressed the importance of this stage of the process, as it represents the foundation of Cuba’s system of governance.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

08:04.- First Vice President of the Councils of Sate and Ministers of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, casts his vote.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8:00.- The Foreign Minister noted that although these are the first elections to take place without the physical presence of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, they represent a tribute to the ideas he defended throughout his life.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:57.- On casting his vote, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, a Party Political Bureau member and minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, stated that today is a special day in which, despite the tightening of the U.S. blockade, the legitimacy of the Cuban electoral system is being demonstrated.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:52.- In order to take part in elections Cubans must be registered to vote, which automatically happens when an individual turns 16 years of age.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:50.- Voting in Cuba is free, equal and secret, and a Constitutional right enjoyed by all citizens.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:45.- Today, over eight million Cubans are expected to come out to vote for 12,515 delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:32.- Teresa Amarelle noted that the election process represents a tribute to Fidel on the first anniversary of his passing.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:30.- Teresa Amarelle Boué, a member of the Party Political Bureau and secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Women cast her vote this morning. Speaking to the press afterwards she highlighted the commitment of Cuban women to the electoral process, many of whom are candidates.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:25.- The process to nominate candidates for municipal delegates took place from September 4 through October 30, 2017 with the participation of 6,746,867 voters or 78.35% of the electorate.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
07:18.- In Cuba, citizens can vote once they reach 16 years of age provided that they have lived in the country for at least two years before elections, and are legally permitted to do so.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:10.- This round of elections features 27,221 candidates , 9,637 of which are women (35.40 %) and 5,307 young people (19.49 %).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

07:07.- Today, Cubans will vote for delegates to Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, from among which delegates to provincial assemblies and Parliament will be chosen.