Your February 3 article, “Cubans vote on new legislature; president, parliament chief to be picked later this month,” provides a somewhat less than complete account of the forthcoming 2013 Cuban elections. The article does not mention possible outcomes regarding oncoming U.S.-Cuban relations, specifically how the polls may affect the long-time embargo policy. It is no mystery President Raúl Castro (age 81) will again enjoy the satisfaction of elected office. However, candidates being selected in this ballot could provide a valuable tip-off for who is being prepared to carry on the revolution. In the next few years, broader political landscape may be seen on the island as a younger generation rises to power, replacing the older generation from the 1959 Revolution, surrounding Castro. The replacement of longtime Parliament President, Ricardo Alarcón, the traditional spokesman for deal-making between the two ancient foes, could also shed light on any new pathway in Cuban foreign affairs. Considering the soft nature of President Obama’s willingness to engage with Cuba, perhaps this could be the time to expect some movement towards lifting the embargo, which most agree is a useless relic of a dysfunctional foreign policy frozen in time.
Amandha Lopes, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
In response to The Washington Post: Cubans vote on new legislature; president, parliament chief to be picked later this month
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