Cuba holds elections to fill local municipal councils, and at least two of the candidates standing for a spot are unaffiliated with the Castro government, a first since the 1959 revolution. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Cuba's municipal elections are in full-swing, Sunday, with Havana voters showing their patriotism by singing the national anthemn. And for the first time since its 1959 communist revolution, dissidents are reportedly standing for an elected post. Yuniel Lopez is one of two such candidates, and member of an oulawed political party. He says he's motivated by the needs of his community: (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN DISSIDENT AND CANDIDATE FOR CUBAN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, YUNIEL LOPEZ, SAYING: "There are problems with public lighting. Homes are in a bad state, and up until now, no official delegate has been capable of truly representing the community, as I see it." The election of a candidate like Lopez has no precedent in revolutioanry Cuba. Some 27,000 Cubans are standing for a spot in their local councils. Voters like Laura Cruz say the landmark poll feels "democratic". (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN VOTER AND STUDENT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LAURA CRUZ, SAYING: "Everyone has the same rights, everyone can vote, up to and including those who are against the revolution." The elections come just a week after historic meetings between the Cuban and U.S. leaders .... and are a rare challenge to Cuba's political system from within.