Greetings From Cuba: Discussing Constitutional Reforms [from An Spréach Issue 2]

On August 13 of this year, the debate and popular consultation of the Draft Constitution began in the Republic of Cuba. With this demonstration of legitimate participatory democracy, the Cuban State advances in the process of updating its socialist political system, inspired by the ideas of José Martí, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Marx and Lenin.

However, the ideological opponents of the Cuban Revolution develop media campaigns of disinformation to hide and distort the reality of Cuba. For this reason, this article tries to answer a series of very important questions about the Draft Constitution: Why is a Constitutional reform necessary? What aspects does it propose to change? Will the principles of our Revolution change?

The Constitutional Reform has as one of its main objectives to incorporate into the Constitution the economical and social transformations discussed and approved in the VI and VII Conferences of the Communist Party from Cuba and, later, in the Sessions of the National Assembly for its implementation.

The current Cuban Constitution dates from 1976, and from then until now the international system and the correlation of forces have changed, and not precisely for the good of humanity, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.  

These historical events impacted negatively on the Cuban economy because the countries of the socialist camp were our main trading partners, and we can add the increase in US hostility against Cuba with the approval of new laws in the US Congress such as the Torricelli Law and the Helms-Burton Law.

Given this situation, the Cuban government has made economical and social modifications since the 1990s to preserve the social achievements of our political project. And these modifications must be reflected in the Constitution, which will be submitted to national Referendum.

The recognition of other forms of property (The socialist State will remain the owner of the main means of production and strategic natural resources for the development of the country), the incorporation into the constitutional text of some contents of international treaties and protocols signed by Cuba in recent years, the legalization of marriage between 2 peoples of the same sex, and the delimitation of the number of presidential mandates to 2 periods of 5 years each one are issues that Cuban citizens will discuss in the neighborhood assemblies during the next months.

Finally, the answer to the most important question: Will the principles of our Revolution change?  

With the triumph of the Rebel Army led by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro on January 1, 1959, Cuba began a new phase of its history that meant breaking the chains of economical and political dependence that the United States had imposed on our territory. The principles of social justice, humanism, anti-imperialism, internationalism, anti-colonialism, solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world will always be elements that identify to the Cuban revolutionaries.

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

Contributed to Issue 2 of An Spréach Magazine By Frank Fernando González Herrera, Bachelor of International Relations at the Diplomatic College of Cuba 'Raúl Road Garcia'.