In the central province of Sancti Spíritus, residents of the village of El Caney were reported to have refused to nominate any candidates to protest the government’s failure to fix a road all but destroyed by recent rains.
Police attended another neighborhood council in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba to intimidate those who wanted to nominate independent journalist Walter Clavel Torres, said Jose Daniel Ferrer, a leading dissident in the province.
Aleaga said his request to become a candidate was met with shouts of “illiterate” from neighborhood hardliners but then sparked a short debate with “moderate communists” who argued that everyone had a right to be heard.
One of the most interesting candidacies is that of Sirley Ávila León, 53, who currently represents the Limones farming area on the Majibacoa municipal council in Las Tunas province. She was elected in 2005 and describes herself as a “revolutionary.”
But Avila sparked a hubbub when she gave a recent telephone interview to Radio/TV Marti, the Miami-based U.S. government broadcaster, complaining about the lack of government services in her district.
Supportive neighbors, nevertheless, endorsed her as a candidate for re-election on Sunday, she told El Nuevo Herald, and on Friday she confirmed that she remained a candidate, despite a rumor that she had been disqualified.
The only change, noted with a laugh, was that about 25 of her neighbors had disappeared from the voter rolls at her usual voting center, and apparently were transferred to a different district.
“My friends keep telling me that the authorities are afraid of me,” she said. “But I will continue working for Limones no matter what ... It’s not easy, but it can be done.”