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[–] RunsWithScissors 1 points 6 points (+7|-1) ago 

Every non-anarchy system is the rule of law. Cuba has the rule of law.

Democracy is broadly defined as "rule of the people" and a Republic is "rule of the states." Some of those states might be ruled by the people, but representation isn't necessarily part of what makes a Republic.

What changed in the US is that we switched to directly electing every branch of government except the Supreme Court. While Senators and the President used to be elected by member governments, they are not directly elected. Additionally, while land ownership was an initial requirement in some states, today member states of the US must have universal suffrage.

Finally, many States offer a direct referendum system, by which laws and constitutional amendments are approved directly by the people, without legislative interference.

Those things, combined, mean the US is much more democratic than originally envisioned. That's why we call it a "democracy."

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[–] link_maxwell 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Cuba doesn't have rule of law, they have rule of the party (or rule of Castro). Rule of law implies that everyone, including the rulers, is bound by a higher law that they cannot break without punishment. As bad as we may gripe about it, the President couldn't actually kill somebody on the street and declare it legal (not getting into drone strikes or anything, just making the basic case here).