Our delegates and their sacred duty to serve the people

In Havana, 1331 delegates begin a new term of office, for two years and a half, with the conviction of being the representatives of the electors

Carlos Heredia Reyes

Next Sunday, December 17, at the ceremonies for the constitution of the 15 Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power (MAPP) in Havana, when the 1,331 grassroot delegates elected by direct and secret ballot, take office and take their oath, a new chapter in their lives will begin. Some of them were reelected, and others assume this responsibility for the first time, but all will have in common the task of representing with dignity the people who elected them for their merits, capacity and allegiance to the Revolution, the Cuban Revolutionary Party and Fidel.

During these days they received a preparatory seminar in which they learned about the socioeconomic characteristics of the locality, deepened the Electoral Law and the particularities of the Cuban election system, as well as studied the functions and powers of the MAPP and the duties and rights of the delegates.

They begin this new term of office, for two years and a half, with the particularity of  having the new position of vice president for the municipal administration, so the issue was also addressed in the training sessions, along with the subject of the designation for the Secretary of the Assembly and for the members of the Council of the Municipal Administration (Cam).

They assume their role with the conviction that “the basic cell of the entire structure of Cuban People’s Power is the circumscription, whose conception and functioning essentially converge in the delegate and represents the most legitimate and authentic contributions of our democratic system.”

Although many people think otherwise, the circumscription is not attached to the People’s Power; it does not constitute an intermediate echelon for the purposes of the political-administrative division, nor does it have subordinate administrative structures, as the website of the Cuban Parliament points out.

The electoral districts are created in each municipality based on the number of inhabitants in cities, towns, villages and farmhouses or dispersed. In order to facilitate the work or ties of the delegate with the population, each electoral district will have a minimum of 200 inhabitants and a maximum of 3000.

Of course, the delegate must be a natural leader of the community, freely elected by citizens, but is not the highest authority of the district, because such merit falls on the set of all who elected him, as the Cuban Parliament Speaker Esteban Lazo has repeatedly clarified,.

And therein lies the gist, which makes real the participation of the masses in state power.

His functions go beyond those of government, he must also be a friend and confident of his neighbors, and as a popular leader he must know what happens around him, guide and support their constituents facing problems

Our delegates may also be elected or appointed to the following positions: president or vice president of the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power, president of a Permanent or Temporary Working Committee of the aforementioned Assembly, delegate to the Provincial Assembly of People’s Power, and member of one of its Permanent or Temporary Working Commissions, as the Parliament’s website warns.

Some of them may also assume the responsibility of president or vice president of a Popular Council, deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power, and member of one of its Permanent or Temporary Working Commissions, or member of the Council of State.

But in their daily work these representatives of the people are called to maintain a real, permanent and systematic connection with their constituents, making viable and taking care of the issues raised by them; to work constantly to know their  problems and their causes; as well as to claim, when necessary, from whom it may concern, the adoption of the measures required to resolve them, in order to achieve a rapid response and help raise their authority before the voters.

Delegates have the duty to meet with their constituents at least twice a year, in order to render account of their personal management, previously approved by the President of the Municipal Assembly, and it is demanded that they never stop giving explanations to each citizen who request or ask for something, so that he is never told lied and have always honestexplanations, if any problem can be solved or not.

If they do not fully comply with their obligations or duties, they may be revoked at any time during their term by the same people who once elected them.

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