Government, Mass Organizations
ANAP, neighborhood watch groups, Young Communist League, agricultural technology, Family Code
The Cuban political structure depends upon popular organizations that are not officially controlled by the PCC but are closely linked to it. Every citizen may belong to several of these organizations, which correspond to major social and economic sectors. For example, the Federation of Cuban Women seeks the membership of all eligible women over the age of 16 and deals with issues in the areas of health, child care, family relations, education, and loyalty to the revolution. Farmers may join the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), which introduces agricultural technology to farmers. It also tries to resolve problems relating to transporting produce to markets from cooperatives and private farms that are not a part of the state-run system.
Workers’ issues are represented to the government by the Confederation of Cuban Laborers (CTC), and the CTC conveys government decisions to workers. It oversees labor disputes between management and workers, as the right to strike was rescinded in the 1960s. The CTC works on behalf of the government by trying to maintain high levels of production. The Young Communist League indoctrinates Cuban youth with the ideals of Communism. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution are neighborhood groups that call meetings to review the meaning of Fidel Castro’s speeches, provide neighborhood watch groups against crime, inform the neighborhood of civil and political activities, and report suspicious political behavior by local residents.
Within all of these groups, people can express their opinions and criticisms, although their views must follow revolutionary principles. Opinions are transmitted to central authorities who consider them as they make administrative decisions. One important legislative document brought before the public before its formal passage was the Family Code of 1975, which described the role of each member of a family. Massive public debate occurred and opinions were polled before the code became law. The numerous mass organizations also function as an official means of communication between the government and the people as they convey public policies to the citizenry.
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