National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says she is impressed by the openness of Parliament’s multi-party delegation to relate to the democratic process of Cuba, despite believing in a different democratic system.

Mbete is accompanied by among others, the Chief Whips of the African National Congress (ANC), Democratic Alliance (DA), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)  on a week-long visit to Cuba. The visit follows an invitation from the Cuban National Assembly Speaker.

Mbete says it was interesting to learn how a one party state like Cuba could still operate in a democratic way.

“It has a very democratic process of electing its leadership, although there are not many parties here. The tendencies are to sometimes think that democracy is limited to a multi-party system. And the good thing is to be able to talk quite openly, although that we believe in our system which allows different parties to compete. In this one party system, there is detailed very democratic process of electing leaders, not based on different political parties but just based on different people’s own observation of the conducts, the attitudes, the efficiencies, the skills of the various individuals that put themselves forward, for purposes of competing for leadership,” says Mbete.