Cuba drafts new constitution to replace Cold War era one, referendum set to confirm – National


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Cuban lawmakers on Saturday unanimously authorized a revised draft of a brand new structure that retains the island’s one-party socialist system however displays its socio-economic opening for the reason that fall of the Soviet Union.

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The draft new structure, which has 229 articles and can exchange a Chilly Battle period one, will preserve the Communist Get together because the nation’s guiding drive and the state’s dominance of the financial system, in accordance with state-run media. A replica has not but been distributed to the general public.

The doc, nevertheless additionally, legitimizes personal enterprise that has blossomed during the last decade, acknowledges the significance of overseas funding and opens the door to homosexual marriage, in accordance with state-run media.

It imposes age and time period limits on the presidency, after late revolutionary chief Fidel Castro and his youthful brother Raul Castro dominated the nation for practically six many years, and introduces the function of a main minister.

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The present draft incorporates into an authentic one revealed in July a whole lot of primarily small adjustments proposed by residents throughout a three-month public session at neighborhood conferences nationwide. It can go to a referendum subsequent Feb. 24.

“This course of is a real and distinctive demonstration of the follow of energy by the folks and subsequently of the markedly participative and democratic nature of our political system,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel advised the nationwide meeting in a speech closing its week-long, twice-yearly session.

The 58-year-old took workplace from his mentor Raul Castro in April though the latter stays head of the Communist Get together till 2021.

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Critics say the basics of Cuba’s system have been by no means up for dialogue and the federal government solely included options it needed to.

Some, together with opposition teams that sometimes don’t mobilize many individuals, are already campaigning in opposition to the structure on-line utilizing the hashtag #yovotono (“I vote no”).

One of many articles revised regards the buildup of property. Whereas the primary draft initially banned this, the revised structure merely stipulates that the state should regulate it, in accordance with state-run media.

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Nonetheless, the most recent draft additionally reinserts the purpose of “advancing in direction of communism” that was taken out of the primary draft.

One controversial revision is the elimination of an article that acknowledged matrimony because the union of two individuals versus the union between a person and a lady as within the 1976 structure.

That article was the one which sparked probably the most controversy in a society that has made nice strides in lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender rights lately however stays conservative on the subject.

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The brand new draft removes the definition of marriage altogether thus nonetheless opening the door to same-sex union albeit not giving it the identical symbolic degree of backing.

The federal government has stated as an alternative it can replace the household code and put it to a referendum within the subsequent two years.

“There isn’t any setback,” wrote Mariela Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro, who has championed LGBT rights in Cuba lately, on Fb.

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“The struggle continues, let’s give a ‘sure’ to the structure after which shut ranks to attain a household code as superior as the brand new constitutional textual content.”

She requested for permission to briefly interrupt the meeting meet on Saturday to hug her father in an uncommon public show of affection throughout the Castro household, thanking him for his instance “as a guardian and as a revolutionary,” sparking applause.

Nonetheless, the choice to place the household code to a referendum has angered Cuban intellectuals who say basic human rights shouldn’t be put up for vote. Different legal guidelines haven’t been put to a referendum.

“Equal rights to marriage in Cuba needs to be a presidential decree, not a referendum that exonerates the state from accountability and opens the door to conservative homophobia,” stated Harold Cardenas, a professor of Marxism and blogger.

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