Democracy in Cuba

I question your editorial statement (November 1994) that "political democracy is absent" in Cuba.

 Cuba has elections. They do not involve competing parties, but there is a choice of candidates. Candidates are easy to nominate and do not have to be party members or party-approved. Their photos and biographies are posted in public places at government expense. Since the candidates need not spend any substantial amount, rich candidates have no advantage over poor, successful candidates are not beholden to persons who financed their races and office-holders are under no necessity to court potential donors to fund a re-election effort.

 The Cubans argue - with some plausibility in my opinion - that their system is more democratic than the U.S. system, not less. If you disagree, you should critique the Cuban system, rather than making the bald assertion that political democracy is absent. That seems to me an unthinking acceptance of the U.S. propaganda line which does no justice either to Cuba or to democracy.

 Laurent B. Frantz

 Palo Alto, CA