A student clad in the uniform of communist youth practices a salute given to voters as they place their ballots in Cuba's Elecciones Parciales (Partial Elections) to elect delegates from the country's single party to its unicameral parliament, this April in Havana, Cuba. Members of the José Marti Pioneer Organization for children operated by the communist party - that is quite similar to a communist youth organization in which I had to partake as a young Bulgarian student - are often sent to people's homes as a means to motivate citizens to vote. Voting is not mandatory, but heavily frowned upon if not exercised.
Elementary schoolchildren wear pañoletas, or scarves as part of the organization's uniform - blue or red in color depending on their age, and switch to yellow and white uniforms in adolescence.
Cuba, a place of much recent conversation, is a country whose politics and way of life parallel much of my childhood in Bulgaria. This is 2015's continuation to my project on democracy + communism, started last year on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall - the event that gave opportunity to Eastern Europeans like me to immigrate to the Western world. These are the ways in which Cuba has transported me to pre- and post-1989 Bulgaria.