HAVANA - Cubans went to the polls on Sunday to elect a Communist Party-selected slate of 612 deputies to the National Assembly at a time of change in how they live and work but not in how they vote.

President Raul Castro and other leaders were shown on state-run television casting their ballots and commenting on the importance of the election as a show of support for reforms and independence from the United States.

Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro was expected to cast his ballot from home.

Raul Castro is decentralizing the state-dominated economy, allowing more space for private initiative in agriculture and retail services and has lifted many restrictions on personal freedoms such as travel and the buying and selling of homes and cars.

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