Cuban authorities say they have no plans to change the system.
"Our adversaries and even some of our sympathizers ... demand of us, as if we were a country living under normal conditions and not under siege, that we reinstall a multiparty model," Raul Castro said at a Communist Party conference in January. But legalizing parties other than the Communist Party would be to "sacrifice the strategic arm of the unity of all Cubans that has made our dreams of independence and social justice a reality."
Eduardo Bueno, a political scientist at Mexico's Iberoamerican University, said that "in theoretical and ideological terms Cuban democracy would be very representative, but in practical historical terms it has not been that way."
Buenos said that Cuba's system has generated a democracy "deficit" on the island.
"It seems more a defensive strategy to oppose the 'internal enemy' allied with the United States than as an expression of mass participatory democracy."
Andrea Rodriguez is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP
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