Cubans went to the polls on Sunday in a one-party vote, the last step before a new president is selected next month, as the Communist-ruled island prepares to be led for the first time since the 1959 revolution by someone whose last name is not Castro.
Cubans are asked to endorse two official lists of candidates for the national and provincial assemblies. The government depicts the vote, which takes place every five years, as a symbolic show of unity in the face of U.S. hostility.
This year, though, the new national assembly will select a president to replace 86-year-old Raul Castro on April 19. Starting with Raul’s late older brother Fidel, the Castros have ruled the Caribbean island for nearly six decades.
Leaders of the Cuban exile community in the United States, including Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, have called on President Donald Trump not to recognize the election results, saying the process is a fraud designed to legitimize a dictatorship.