Cubans vote in national polls

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

HAVANA (Reuter) - Cubans voted yesterday in national elections marked by an intense campaign by the Communist authorities recommending a block vote for official candidates.

While they are the first direct elections to be held in more than 30 years of Communist rule, the parliamentary and regional polls are strictly a one-party affair with no opposition or alternatives to the official candidate lists.

The elections are overshadowed by the severe economic crisis that has followed the collapse of trade and aid links with Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.