In Cuba every Cuban is a constituent

I have discovered that the Cuban government is one of the few governments that truly take into account the opinion of the people, establishing it as sovereign and constituent.

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To walk through the streets of Cuba these days is like crashing into a sea of constituent people. The whole nation, from one end to the other, is immersed in debates and proposals to complete the project of Constitutional Reform that the National Assembly of Popular Power and a team of constitutional experts have placed in the hands of the people.


Thousands of meetings have taken place since August 13 when the process began, at the district level, in every workplace, mass organization, organized civil society group, school, so that every citizen can freely express his/her opinion on the proposal.


It doesn’t matter whether the proposals expressed coincide with the initial text, rather what is involved is to suggest changes and think collectively so that the final result to be submitted next year to a popular referendum represents the true interests of the Cuban people.


During this time in Cuba, I have understood that genuine democracy exists. It is not a dead discourse from the arenas of Athens or Rome, b.c. I have discovered that the Cuban government, in spite of the diatribe against it orquestrated by the international media, is one of the few governments –not to be absolute in analysis– that truly take into account the opinion of the people, establishing it as sovereign and constituent, while the big international media seek to show a totally different image of the island.


I do not doubt that the next Cuban constitution will be the result of collective construction and diversity of opinion rooted in a profound Cubania, and the fact is that in recent weeks every citizen has had the chance to suggest even a minimal contribution that professes to consolidate the Revolution, strengthen the achievements reached during recent years, preserve independence and sovereignty, converting into truth the Fidelist precept of “change everything that needs to be changed”.


I invite all who have an interest in legal affairs, or simply democratic policies, to read the project of Reform that circulates today in every nook and cranny of the Caribbean island. Only eleven articles from the Constitution approved in 1976 have been maintained; the rest have been modified with a new focus that is flexible, attractive and polemical in some points, paying attention to legal concepts, institutions and the recognition of rights.


This explains the broad debate that has been unleashed all over Cuba, tackling the concepts of marriage, of effective citizenship, or the new structure of the State and Government that is proposed to make the state apparatus more functional and modern, in accord with the present times in which the island lives.


The progressive nature of the legal system is noteworthy, in an underdeveloped third world country, subject for over fifty years to an economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States, as well as a brutal campaign promoting the robbery of talent and a policy of subversion. In this project, Cuban legislators have demonstrated the excellence of the educational system at all levels and the in depth preparation of the constituent people.


It is also noteworthy that, while in Cuba laws to contribute to popular well-being are being debated, the US Congress is discussing the approval of legislative initiatives to launch an economic war, under the banner of international organisations, against the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua. This is the “inclusiveness” of the concept of “democracy” in the Western vision.


The constitutional reform in Cuba has on its own canceled any impact of the project Cuba Decides and the rest of the programs that function under the protective shadow of NED, USAID, the NDI, among other agencies of the US government that have embraced, trained and encouraged the work of pseudo Cuban leaders, better known in the rest of the world than in Cuba itself.


In the face of these dynamics of popular participation that have characterized the island during the revolutionary years, the ridiculous proposals of a few Cuban dissidents such as Rosa María Payá, Eliecer Avila or Coco Fariñas, can only be seen to be empty with no popular support but reflecting their blind and obstinate need for power, leaving to one side concern for the well-being of the people that should be the first rule.


Their call for civil disobedience is a mere fit of immaturity and lack of sound political judgement on the part of those who, paid by other countries, are incapable of recognizing the consolidation of the Socialist State of Law in Cuba, never before better expressed.


The response of the Cuban people to this call for civil disobedience has been loud and clear: more than 100 thousand meetings to ratify the principles that constitute immovable pillars of the Cuban Revolution such as the defence of sovereignty and independence, respect for the full dignity of mankind, equity and social justice, solidarity, humanism, individual and collective prosperity, among others.


The call for civil disobedience has not only been disregarded in Cuba, but in the international community with the participation of thousands of Cubans residing in other countries, whom the government of the island has included in the process, giving a lesson to “democratic” countries such as the United States and their allies, on what popular participation, and opportunities for inclusion and unity mean in reality.


The call for civil disobedience has been ignored by the thousands of voices that I have heard in Cuba and outside during these days, supporting the irrevocable character of Cuban socialism, the unity of the people with respect to the revolution and the directing role of the party; and in almost every instance, dedicating a thought to Fidel, the unquestioned leader of this great humanist work.



(Translated for ALAI by Jordan and Joan Remple Bishop)


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