Everyone remembers the last Ibero-American Summit in Chile, when Hugo Chavez according to the Spanish representative Jose Luis Zapatero, "insulted" Aznar, and claimed in his defense, respect for "having been elected democratically."

The argument was made at the time that being democratically elected per se was not meritorious but rather it is the conduct when in power, and whether it serves the people well, that matters.

Democracy has been a word divested of its true meaning, and politically reworked by capitalists to defend their interests and attack other countries.

The United States is a multiparty democracy with two parties, but thanks to its complicated electoral system, the person in the Oval office may not be the person with the largest popular vote.

An example was when in one elections, the American people elected Al Gore, as determine by a final count at the polling stations, but because the candidate who gets the most popular votes in each state achieves all of the electoral office votes, Bush won.

And has Bush been democratic? The budgets for health, education and social security there have suffered the consequences of the excesses of his supporters. While he calls today for "democratic elections for Cuba", his has the lowest popularity of any President in the history of the nation, meaning he is a president without popular support.

Cuba has just formed its 169 Municipal Assemblies of People's Power (including the 14 of HolguĂ­n), after an election process where representatives were chosen in neighborhood meetings according to representative constituencies.

Also, in the structures of power in the municipalities, delegates have been nominated to the provincial assemblies and deputies to Parliament. Fifty per cent of these nominees are required to be members of municipal assemblies and the remainder are prominent personalities from different spheres of society, selected by committees of candidates, according to criteria set by mass labor collectives and organizations associated with particular living areas.

With this process, we have elected 56 deputies and 103 delegates to government.

By January 20, we have to go back to the polls for another consultation with the masses, but this time to vote on all candidates, as part of a revolutionary strategy to encourage the less well known and to guarantee the unity and strength of the people .

The Electoral Law of Cuba provides for closed nominations (one candidate per post), and was introduced more than a decade ago to enable voting in the Homeland.