14ymedio, Havana, 5 January 2018 — This Saturday the official media has published the final text of the new Constitution that will go to referendum on February 24. The document comes to light 15 days after it was approved by the National Assembly pf People’s Power during its last session in 2018.
The final text again includes the term “communism,” maintains the controversial Article 5 that consecrates the Communist Party as “organized vanguard of the nation” and ensures that “the concentration of property in natural or legal non-state persons is regulated by the State,” a point also criticized.
The new Constitution has Many more articles than the current one adopted 1976: 229 against 141, which had dropped to 137 with the last reform of the Constitution in 2002.
The name of Fidel (Castro) appears three times in its different forms: “Fidel” in the preamble, “Fidel Castro Ruz” and “fidelista”; while (José) Martí appears four times in various forms. The word “communist” or “communism” is mentioned five times in the document.
The issue of equal marriage, which had aroused so many passions in the debates, was postponed in a transitory provision: “the National Assembly of People’s Power will, within two years of the Constitution, initiate the process of popular consultation and referendum of the draft Family Code, in which the form of what constitutes marriage must appear.”
On December 28, the 17 members of the National Electoral Commission (CEN) who will organize the referendum were sworn in at the Capitol of Havana. The entity includes members of the Armed Forces and is chaired by Alina Balseiro, who led the parliamentary elections process concluded in 2018.
Previously, the 583 deputies present during the vote on the Constitution unanimously approved the text after a week of debates in which the proposed changes to the constitutional project were discussed, after a three-month consultation process in which the ruling party says that nearly nine million Cubans participated, including residents and emigrants.
The official press has announced that in the course of next week, the state-owned company Correos de Cuba “will put up for sale in all its units and newsstands, the Constitution of the Republic”, at the price of 1 CUP (national currency, approximately 4¢ US) . The document will have a tabloid format and will have 16 pages.
The Government and pro-government organizations are strongly promoting the ’Yes’ campaign in state media, sports broadcasts and social networks. So far no space has been given in the press or national television to the standard-bearers of the ’No’ campaign, despite the fact that social networks and political activism are developing a broad campaign for a ’No’ vote or for the boycott of the referendum.
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