HAVANA (AP) — There are no flashy television ads or campaign signs spiked into Cuban front yards. And candidates definitely don't tour the island shaking hands and kissing babies.
Sunday's municipal elections in Cuba lack the hoopla they have in other countries, but authorities here say they give people a voice in government and refute charges that the country is undemocratic. Critics call them a sham since voters can't throw out the Communist Party long led by Fidel and Raul Castro.
The vote starts a long, complicated and unique electoral process that will culminate in February, when national assembly legislators vote on who will occupy the presidency, a post held by Raul Castro since 2008.