Two Deadly Sins / Fernando Damaso

Fernando Dámaso, 28 December 2018 — In democratic systems, Constitutions are drafted by a Constituent Assembly, formed by the most prepared representatives on the subject,from the different political parties that participate in their elections, whose number depends on the votes obtained according to the projects presented. The election, as is to be expected, is made by citizens according to their political, economic and social criteria.

In the current constitutional reform project in Cuba, the preparation was in the hands of a 33-member Commission, chaired by the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and made up of members of the pParty and of different State institutions, all committed to the socialist project and its implications, without any type of citizen participation in the choice of it.

This is the first deadly sin.

To try to present an impression of citizen participation, it was decided to submit the project, once approved in the first instance by the National Assembly of People’s Power, where the vote on everything is always unanimous, to the citizen consideration, through Assemblies, where everyone could give their personal opinion and this should be recorded in the corresponding minutes, but without submitting the proposal to a vote among the participants.

The trick is easy to detect: no matter how many citizens might agree or disagree with it, only one proposal was recorded since, once an opinion had been expressed, the repetition of it was not accepted.

This is the second deadly sin.

If the proposals had been put to vote and the number of votes for and against registered, a real indicator of the citizen opinion would have been obtained and not the figures of squalid percentages, made known by Señor Homero Acosta, in the session of the National Assembly where it was approved, also by the unanimous vote of the members.

This same gentleman pointed out that “This is the Constitution of the Revolution,” and he is absolutely right: it is the political testament of a phenomenon in extinction. Furthermore, it is not the Constitution of all Cubans, but that of the Communist Party, whose selective militancy does not exceed 0.7 percent of the eleven million Cubans living on the island and the almost three million Cubans residing abroad.

Although I do not question or stigmatize, as some representatives of the regime are already doing, the vote of every Cuban in the next referendum, on seeing violated many of the political, economic and social rights of citizens, with impositions and arbitrariness, my civic duty is to vote “NO.”