declaration of havana

Get the vote out. No, really. Get the vote out.

It’s a fact often lamented in the U.S. – and rightfully so – about the dreadful turnout rates that many of our democratic elections receive. We’ve had a number of presidential elections with less than 50% turnout (think Clinton v. Dole v. Perot).

What I find astounding is that in the ratification of Fidel Castro’s first Declaracion de la Habana, Cuba achieved a turnout rate of at least 15% of the population of the country.

That’s so sad, you say.


I meant turnout in the sense of turnout at a ballgame: physical bodies assembled in support of a team, a cause, a symbol, an idea.750782025.2.m

On September 2, 1960, over a million people gathered as the “National General Assembly of the People” in the square near José Marti’s statue to ratify Castro’s declaration against imperialism and poverty.

Only 7 million people lived in the entire nation at the time.

… Yet, despite one of the most powerful democratic actions in recorded history, try – just, try – to find contemporary Western media coverage that even acknowledges the event, much less describes its historical import.


Disclosure: The author of this post was raised – and still is – a red-blooded American,  largely raised in the U.S. South, with family roots trailing back almost two centuries into the American midwest, who finds himself continually disappointed in the agenda-driven media and educational system that he was raised.  (often wonders why, for example, we weren’t taught Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West alongside Homer’s Odyssey?)

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