November 28, 2017 / 10:04 PM / a year ago

U.S. State Department criticizes Cuban municipal vote as 'flawed'

Cuba's President Raul Castro casts his vote during the Municipal Elections beside an image of late Cuba's President Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba November 26, 2017. Courtesy of Estudios Revolucion/Handout via REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that municipal elections in Cuba over the weekend were flawed because authorities used “intimidation, arcane technicalities and false charges” to keep independent candidates off of the ballot.

“The elections that took place further demonstrate how the Cuban regime maintains an authoritarian state while attempting to sell the myth of a democracy around the world,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing. “Despite courageous efforts by an unprecedented number of independent candidates this year, none were allowed on the ballot.”

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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