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20 years after the dispute between Cuba and the US, the 'rafter' Elián González' will be a deputy on the island


In 1999 he became the center of a bitter custody dispute between the island and the United States after being rescued in the waters of the Florida Straits. He is 29 years old today.

The parliamentary elections this Sunday in Cuba have a heterogeneous list of candidates in which there are ministers, senior officials of the Communist Party and historical figures of the revolution, but also athletes, musicians, media directors and even the "rafter" Elián González


These elections to the National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP), the highest legislative body, are a key step in the country's institutional renewal, which began in the local elections in November and will culminate with the appointment of the country's president


470 candidates present themselves to the Cuban parliament, for 470 posts, who

were proposed by the so-called mass groups,

parastatal organizations in the orbit of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), and that the vast majority are militants in this formation, the only legal on the island, or in their youth.

Citizens can vote for all the candidates running in their district (following the official call), just some or none.

Sectors of the dissidence advocate abstention.

Fidel Castro participating in the seventh birthday of the "rafter" Elián González.

The "rafter"

According to official data, the candidacy has 55% women, 45% blacks and mulattoes, 95% university graduates and 20% young people between 18 and 35 years of age.

Among the latter, Elián González stands out,

known as the "rafter boy

", who in 1999 became the center of a bitter dispute between Cuba and the United States over his custody after being rescued in the waters of the Florida Straits.

The 29-year-old militant of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), whom the state media designate as "the most worthy representative of Cuban youth," was elected as a candidate for the National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP) of the island and has become one of the youngest applicants for the legislative body.

Elizabeth Brotons, the boy's mother, decided to get her son away from the deplorable situation on the island and embarked with him in a small boat towards the coast of Florida.

Elizabeth and nine other people drowned,

while Elián, the only survivor,

managed to reach the coast clinging to a tire.

The dispute between the United States and Cuba led to tense situations.

AP Photo

At that moment, a fight began between the relatives of the mother in Miami and the father, Juan Miguel González, who

had the support of Fidel Castro to take the child back to Cuba.

US immigration officials granted custody to the child's father, but the mother's relatives refused to release the child, forcing the Justice Department to intervene.

In mid-2000,

González returned to Cuba with Elián

, where they were greeted with a massive demonstration.

Now the government of Miguel Díaz Canel wants to revive the victory over the United States and exploit the figure of the rafter boy who with patriotism rejects the temptations of the North American empire.

of the nomenclature

The nomenclature of the Government and the PCC is very present in the list

, with the figure of the country's president and first secretary of the PCC, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and that of his predecessor in both positions, Raúl Castro (2008-2018), who at the age of 91, he re-presented himself as a deputy.

He is not the only one on the list of the so-called "historical generation"

, the one that led the revolution in the 1950s. He is accompanied by Ramiro Valdés, José Ramón Machado Ventura and Guillermo García Frías, aged 90, 92 and 95, respectively.

The latter is the greatest of all the candidates.

Among the representatives of the Executive, the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero;

the vice prime ministers Inés María Chapman, Jorge Luis Tapia and Ricardo Cabrisas, and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Economy, Bruno Rodríguez, Óscar Manuel Silvera and Alejandro Gil.

Not all the current ministers are there, but it is not necessary to be a deputy to hold a portfolio of the Executive.

In total, 138 senior government officials and 32 PCC leaders appear

on the list

, representing more than a third of the ANPP.

A large group of military members is also running for the new Legislative Assembly.

In addition to the four historical figures already mentioned, the ministers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Interior, Álvaro López and Lázaro Álvarez, are on the candidacy;

the three regional heads of the army (east, center and west);

the chief of the General Staff, and the head of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR).

Arts, sciences and sports

The list also includes

great names in the sport

, such as the Olympic champions of Greco-Roman wrestling Mijaín López and judo champion Idalys Ortíz;

Paralympic athlete Omara Durand, and canoeist Yarisleidis Cirilo, who at 20 is the youngest candidate.

Representatives of national science are also visible, such as Marta Ayala, director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), where a vaccine against covid-19 was developed, and the media meteorologist Aylin Justiz.

Among the dozen artists aspiring for a seat in the ANPP are the singer-songwriter Raúl Alfonso,

the painter Nelson Domínguez

and the director of the Camagüey Ballet, Regina Balaguer.

The economic area is in turn represented by 49 leaders of state companies, including Colonel Ania Lastres Morera, executive president of Grupo Gaesa, the military conglomerate that controls key sectors such as telecommunications and tourism.

There are also two private entrepreneurs.

Likewise, the journalistic presence stands out,

with the directors of the official newspapers of national circulation Juventud Rebelde

and Trabajadores, and of the provincial newspapers of Camagüey and Holguín (east), as well as those responsible for regional television channels of Granma and Santiago de Cuba (East).

In the religious area, the heads of the Council of Churches, the Abakuá Association and the Platform for Inter-Religious Dialogue of Cuba are proposed.

Source: EFE and Clarín


Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-26

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