Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Introduction to the analysis of the Draft Constitution of the Republic during the popular consultation
The draft Constitution of the Republic approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power in its ordinary session on July 21 and 22, 2018, and which is now being submitted for consultation to our people, is the result of in-depth work begun in 2013.
At that time, the Political Bureau agreed to create a working group, chaired by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, with the objective of studying the possible changes to be introduced in the constitutional order. This follows the agreements of the Sixth Congress and the First National Conference of the Party, the process of strengthening the institutions developed in the country, the need to bring the Constitution into line with our reality, the foreseeable future and the other measures that have been approved in recent years; having as an essential presupposition the thought of the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz.
During all this time, an in-depth study was carried out of our history and constitutional tradition, the constitutional processes developed in Latin America in recent years and the experiences derived from those countries that are building socialism, as well as constitutional texts from other nations.
As is well-known, the National Assembly of People’s Power, in the exercise of its constituent power, agreed, in its extraordinary session of June 2, to form a committee among its deputies. Its task is to represent an important part of the sectors that make up our society, under the leadership of comrade Raúl Castro Ruz, with the aim of preparing a preliminary draft of the Constitution of the Republic.
The Commission has worked intensively, taking as a reference the studies carried out previously and the contribution of experts and specialists from various institutions, and after extensive debates presented the National Assembly of People’s Power with a draft Constitution of the Republic.
The text consists of the preamble, 224 articles (87 more than the current Constitution), divided into 11 titles, 24 chapters and 16 sections.
Eleven articles of the current Constitution of the Republic are maintained, 113 are amended and 13 are deleted.
It is distinguished by a coherent and systematic structure, achieving a logical rearrangement of its contents and avoiding its dispersion.
The language used corresponds to the terminology that should characterize a constitutional text and to our political, economic and social reality. The general wording of its contents confers greater flexibility, durability, security and applicability of the Constitution.
The draft reaffirms the socialist character of our political, economic and social system, as well as the leading role of the Communist Party of Cuba.
The concept of the socialist rule of law is incorporated in order to strengthen the institutional framework and the rule of law, including the supremacy of the Constitution.
The economic system being reflected maintains as essential principles the socialist ownership of all the people of the fundamental means and planning, in addition to the recognition of the role of the market and of new forms of non-state ownership, including private ownership.
Of particular note is the development of a wide range of rights in keeping with the international instruments to which Cuba is a party in this area. Those relating to the right to defense, due process and popular participation are highlighted. The economic and social rights are reformulated, in particular, the right to health and education, which are maintained as a function of the State and free of charge, although it is envisaged that the law will define other issues related to them. The content of the right to equality is further developed by incorporating non-discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin and disability into existing rights (skin color, sex, race, etc.).
It provides for the possibility for individuals to apply to the courts for restitution of their rights or for compensation or reparation for damage or injury caused by the act or omission of State organs, managers, officials or employees in the improper exercise of their functions. In relation to marriage, the current conception that it is only possible “between a man and a woman” is modified and defined as being between two persons.
With regard to citizenship, the fundamental change lies in the fact that our affiliation to the non-admission of dual citizenship is changing and, instead, we are proposing to accept the principle of “effective citizenship”, which consists in the fact that “Cuban citizens, within the national territory, are governed by this condition and cannot make use of a foreign citizenship”.
With regard to the organs of the State, an appropriate balance is maintained between them. The figures of the President of the Republic are incorporated as Head of the State and that of the Prime Minister in charge of the Government of the Republic; both are required to be deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power. The Council of State retains its character as a permanent body of the National Assembly of People’s Power, with greater interaction with it, among other aspects, because the President, Vice-President and Secretary of both institutions are the same persons. A novelty among the State bodies is the National Electoral Council, a permanent institution in this area, and the inclusion of the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic in the Constitution has been resolved.
As for the local bodies, the provincial assemblies of People’s Power were eliminated and a Provincial Government was established, composed of the Governor and a Council at that level.
The municipalities acquire greater relevance from the recognition of their autonomy, which they exercise in correspondence with the interests of the nation.
The Municipal Administration Council is ratified as the body that directs the Municipal Administration, in charge of an Intendent, a term that is proposed to replace that of President and Chief currently employed.
With regard to the Electoral System, it is maintained that Cubans over 16 years of age have the right to vote, with the exceptions provided for by law. The National Defense and Security Act appears in a Title, which specifies the mission of the National Defense Council, with powers to carry out tasks since peacetime, and the recognition of a Disaster Situation, in addition to the other exceptional ones.
With regard to the mechanism for Constitutional Reform, unlike the current Constitution, the legitimacy to promote it is pointed out and the intangibility clauses are specified.
Special, transitional and final provisions are established for the entry into force of the main issues regulated in the Project, as well as the period during which the complementary rules must be issued and others in force amended.
The consultation process that is proposed to be developed is an expression of the democratic and participative character of the revolutionary state and constitutes an exercise of the sovereign power of the people, which has become the constituent body of the nation, and which distinguishes us favorably from other processes developed in various countries.
This particularity represents a high responsibility of all citizens in the study of the project and in the participation in the popular consultation, as well as in each of the proposals made. It must be borne in mind at all times that the Constitution is a norm that establishes essential and minimum principles and values, which implies not covering and expressing in detail all areas of political, economic and social life.
All the proposals and suggestions made will be duly assessed. We Cubans must be aware of the commitment that the new Constitution of the Republic, forged by the people to give continuity to the Revolution and socialism, implies for present and future generations.
More than ever, the following words of our undefeated Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz are valid:(1)
“One of the things that concerns us, and that must be of perennial concern, is that […] the Constitution that we make be complied with strictly. We cannot have or approve a single one of these precepts that is not rigorously applied. The Revolution cannot create a Constitution, cannot create institutions, cannot create principles that are not fulfilled.
“That’s why it is our purpose once this Constitution has been approved, to fight consistently and tenaciously, so that each and every one of the precepts of that Constitution will be fulfilled; so that no one can ever blame the Revolution for agreeing to laws and principles that were decided but not fulfilled”.
(1) Excerpts from the remarks of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, Revista Cubana de Derecho, Año 5, No. 11, enero–junio, 1976, La Habana, pp. 54 y 55.
I want the first law of our Republic to be the worship of Cubans for the full dignity of man;
54 (c) to preserve national security;
55 (d) to ensure equality in the enjoyment and exercise of rights and the fulfilment of the duties enshrined in the Constitution;
59.(h) to protect the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the nation; and
60 (i) to ensure the educational, scientific, technical and cultural development of the country.
129.(a) foreigners who acquire citizenship in accordance with the provisions of the law.
ARTICLE 39: The Cuban State shall guarantee the enjoyment and exercise by the individual of the inalienable, indivisible and interdependent enjoyment and exercise of human rights, in accordance with the principle of progressivity and without discrimination. Their respect and guarantee are obligatory for everyone.
161.(i) be deprived of one’s rights only by decision of a competent authority or a final judgement of a court; and
Any evidence obtained in violation of this provision is null and void and those responsible are punished in accordance with the law.
ARTICLE 51: In its prison policy, the State shall promote the social reintegration of persons deprived of their liberty, guarantee respect for their rights and compliance with the rules established for their treatment in prison establishments.
400.The President of the Republic is the Head of State.
(i) the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, in matters within its competence;
ARTICLE 190. Delegates have the following rights:
712.ARTICLE 214. In order to be valid, the sessions of the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power require the presence of more than half of the total number of its members. Its resolutions are adopted by a simple majority of votes. 213The National Defense Council shall be composed of the President of the Republic, who shall preside over it, who shall in turn appoint a Vice-President and such other members as may be determined by law.
TITLE XI: REFORM OF THE CONSTITUTION
The numbers incorporated at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate discussion during the popular consultation and the analysis and processing of the opinions expressed.
Glossary of terms
For the purposes of a better understanding of the draft Constitution of the Republic, the following terms are specified:
INALIENABLE PROPERTY: These are those goods of socialist property of the entire people and those that make up the cultural heritage; they may not be sold, assigned, donated or exchanged under any circumstances.
IMMEMBERABLE PROPERTY: These are those goods owned by the whole people and which are part of cultural heritage; they cannot be seized or confiscated by any authority.
CONSTITUTION: It is the fundamental law of a State. It establishes the essential principles and values of a country’s socio-political organization and contains its political, economic, social and legal foundations, as well as the structure of the State and its relations with individuals.
POPULAR CONSULTATION: A form of participation in which the people express their opinion on a particular issue, without this having binding effect.
ENTITIES: It is used in its broadest sense as a legal entity that performs economic, social, cultural, scientific, etc. functions. Includes non-state actors.
STATE: It is the system of organs through which public power is exercised and includes various functions (legislative, executive, judicial, control, etc.).
SOCIALIST STATE OF LAW: It is the conception of the State that reflects that its structure and functioning are governed by the observance of what is established in the Constitution of the Republic and in the rest of the normative dispositions that make up the legal system.
GOVERNORS: Position with which the authorities in charge of the executive-administrative functions in the province are recognized.
GOVERNMENT: This includes the bodies whose essential objective is to carry out executive-administrative acts. At the national level it is the Council of Ministers; in the province, the provincial governments and in the municipality, the councils of the administration.
HABEAS CORPUS: Legal procedure that safeguards the freedom of citizens from illegal or arbitrary deprivation of liberty and guarantees the right of individuals to go to court to decide whether or not detention is legal.
IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY: It means that the rights over the socialist property of all the people and those that make up the cultural heritage, do not prescribe, that is, do not lose validity over time.
INDIVISIBILITY OF RIGHTS: It means that human rights cannot be divided or fragmented.
SUPERINTENDENT: Position with which the Board of Directors in the municipalities is identified.
INTERDEPENDENCE OF RIGHTS: Recognizes that all human rights are intertwined with each other. For the realization of a human right, the realization of other rights will be necessary; if one right is violated, it is undeniable that others will be understood to have been violated.
LAWS: Although the term literally refers to the normative dispositions approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power, it is also conceived in the text to refer to any type of norm regardless of the body that issues it.
ABSOLUTE MAJORITY: This is the mode of voting in which more than half of the votes are required to reach a decision, taking into account the total number of members of the deciding body.
SIMPLE MAJORITY: It is the voting system by which a decision is taken to obtain more votes in favor than against, regardless of the number reached.
CONSCIENCIOUS OBJECTION: Is the act by which a citizen wields a certain belief in order not to fulfill an obligation or duty established by law.
ORGANS OF THE STATE: It includes all the organs, agencies and institutions that allow the performance of the functions of the State.
PLEBISCITE: Form of direct popular participation, aimed at knowing whether or not to approve a certain political or government act or measure of relevance to society.
PROGRESS IN RIGHTS: It is the possibility of future recognition of rights not understood at a historical moment, without this leading to a setback or regression of those already achieved.
REFERENCE: Form of direct participation, through which the approval, modification or repeal of a certain legal provision of transcendence is submitted to the people for their decision.
UNIVERSALITY OF RIGHTS: Assumes that all people enjoy all human rights, without distinction of any kind.
NOMINAL VOTING: The one that is carried out by indicating each voter’s decision in person when he or she is appointed to the respective list.
I’d like to thank two people who helped mightily to bring this about. Kimberly Sloss, computer technician, without whose help I would never have even thought to take on such a project.
Peter Roman, whose proofreading of a first draft found many since-corrected errors. Prof. Roman is the author of PEOPLE’S POWER: Cuba’s Experience with Representative Government (Westview Press 1999).
Please let me know of any other errors or omissions you may find. I’m happy to correct all errors. I’d rather not argue over small nuances in translation, but will happily read comments, questions or corrections.
The text of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba was published in the Official Gazette of the Republicof Cuba, Special Edition No.3 of January 31, 2003.
During 1975, a draft Constitution of the Republic was exposed to public debate, in which more than 6 million people participated. The resulting suggestions led to changes in 60 of the proposed articles.
On February 15, 1976, the document was approved by a referendum in which 98% of the electorate voted and 97.7% voted in favour; approval was consequently by free, direct and secret vote of the overwhelming majority of the electors.
On February 24, 1976, this Constitution was proclaimed, at a solemn, public ceremony.
On June 26, 1978, the National Assembly of People’s Power, in exercise of its constitutional powers, resolved to amend Article 10(a) of the Constitution, changing the name of the island then known as ‘Isla de Pinos’ to ‘Isla de la Juventud’.
On July 12, 1992 , a meeting of the National Assembly of People’s power convened for the purpose approved a Constitutional Reform Law designed to implement recommendations by the Fourth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party. These were based on a public, open, frank and calm debate with the people, on a document issued by the Congress concerning the activities of the state agencies, arguing the need for our democratic institutions to be even more representative. This called for: decisions aimed at revising the structures, powers and steering functions of the various authorities based on such institutions; clarification of the role of government at provincial and municipal level; new ways of electing deputies to sit on the National Assembly and delegates at the provincial assemblies; the addressing of other issues relevant to the nation’s institutional life.
The Constitution was further amended to underpin and extend a large number of basic rights and freedoms, as well as the civil and political rights of both Cubans and aliens.
On June 10, 2002, an unprecedented plebiscitary process emerged, making itself felt at the Extraordinary Assembly of the various national headquarters of the mass organizations and, two days later, through demonstrations and marches held throughout the nation and involving over nine million people. It culminated in the public, voluntary signing, during the three days June 15-17, by a total of 8,198,237 electors, of a document ratifying the socialist content of the Constitution. This gesture by the Cuban people was in response to offensive, interventionist remarks by the President of the United States, and called on the National Assembly of People’s Power to amend the Constitution so as to make irrevocable the socialism and revolutionary political and social system it proclaims. Also sought was a statement that economic, diplomatic and political relations with other states must not be conducted under aggression, threat or coercion by a foreign power. In Extraordinary Session on June 26, 2002, convened for the purpose, the Assembly passed the relevant resolution (No. V-74), approving the Constitutional Reform Law.
Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee
of the National Assembly of People’s Power
WE, CUBAN CITIZENS,
heirs and continuators of the creative work and the traditions of combativity, firmness, heroism and sacrifice fostered by our
by the Indians who preferred extermination to submission;
by the slaves who rebelled against their masters;
by the patriots who in 1868 launched the wars of independence against Spanish colonialism and those who in the last drive of 1895 brought them to victory in 1898, a victory usurped by the military intervention and occupation of Yankee imperialism;
by the workers, peasants, student and intellectuals who struggled for over fifty years against imperialist domination, political corruption, the absence of people’s rights and liberties, unemployment and exploitation by capitalists and landowners;
by those who promoted, joined and developed the first organizations of workers and peasants, spread socialist ideas and founded the first Marxist and Marxist-Leninist movements;
by the members of the vanguard of the generation of the centenary of the birth of Martí who, imbued with his teachings, led us to the people’s revolutionary victory of January;
by those who defended the Revolution at the cost of their lives, thus contributing to its definitive consolidation;
by those who en masse carried out heroic internationalist missions;
by the ideas of José Martí and the political and social ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin;
on proletarian internationalism, on the fraternal friendship, aid, cooperation and solidarity of the peoples of the world, especially those of Latin America and the Caribbean ;
AND HAVING DECIDED
to carry forward the triumphant Revolution of the Moncada and of the Granma of the Sierra and of Girón under the leadership of Fidel Castro, which sustained by the closest unity of all revolutionary forces and of the people won full national independence, established revolutionary power, carried out democratic changes, started the construction of socialism and, with the Communist Party at the forefront, continues this construction with the final objective of building a communist society;
that all the regimes based on the exploitation of man by man cause the humiliation of the exploited and the degradation of the human nature of the exploiters;
that only under socialism and communism, when man has been freed from all forms of exploitation – slavery, servitude and capitalism – can full dignity of the human being be attained; and
that our Revolution uplifted the country and of Cubans;
our will that the law of laws of the Republic be guided by the following strong desire of José Martí, at last achieved;
“I want the fundamental law of our republic to be the tribute of Cubans to the full dignity of man”;
by means of our free vote in a referendum, the following:
POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PRINCIPLES OF THE STATE
ARTICLE 1. Cuba is an independent and sovereign socialist state of workers, organized with all and for the good of all as a united and democratic republic, for the enjoyment of political freedom, social justice, individual and collective well-being and human solidarity.
ARTICLE 2. The name of the Cuban state is Republic of Cuba , the official language is Spanish and its capital city is Havana.
ARTICLE 3. In the Republic of Cuba sovereignty lies in the people, from whom originates all the power of the state. That power is exercised directly or through the assemblies of People’s Power and other state bodies which derive their authority from these assemblies, in the form and according to the norms established in the Constitution and by law.
When no other recourse is possible, all citizens have the right to struggle through all means, including armed struggle, against anyone who tries to overthrow the political, social and economic order established in this Constitution.
Socialism, as well as the revolutionary political and social system established by this Constitution, has been forged during years of heroic resistance to the aggression of every kind and economic war waged by the governments of the most powerful imperialist state that has ever existed; it has demonstrated its ability to transform the nation and create an entirely new and just society, and is irrevocable: Cuba will never revert to capitalism.
ARTICLE 4. The national symbols are those which, for over one hundred years, have presided over the Cuban struggles for independence, the tights of the people and social progress:
the lag of the lone star;
the anthem of Bayamo;
the coat of arms of the royal palm.
ARTICLE 5. The Communist Party of Cuba, a follower of Martí’s ideas and of Marxism-Leninism, and the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the highest leading force of society and of the state, which organizes and guides the common effort toward the goals of the construction of socialism and the progress toward a communist society,
ARTICLE 6. The Young Communist League, the organization of Cuba’s vanguard youth, has the recognition and encouragement of the state in its main duty of promoting the active participation of young people in the tasks of building socialism and adequately preparing the youth to be conscientious citizens capable of assuming ever greater responsibilities for the benefit of our society.
ARTICLE 7. The Cuban socialist state recognizes and stimulates the social and mass organizations, which arose from the historic process of struggles of our people. These organizations gather in their midst the various sectors of the population, represent specific interests of the same and incorporate them to the tasks of the edification, consolidation and defense of the socialist society.
ARTICLE 8. The state recognizes, respects and guarantees freedom of religion.
In the Republic of Cuba, religious institutions are separate from the state.
The different beliefs and religions enjoy the same consideration.
ARTICLE 9. The state:
– channels the efforts of the nation in the construction of socialism;
– maintains and defends the integrity and the sovereignty of the country;
– guarantees the liberty and the full dignity of man, the enjoyment of his rights, the exercise and fulfillment of his duties and the integral development of his personality;
– consolidates the ideology and the rules of living together and of conduct proper of a society free from the exploitation of man by man;
– protects the constructive work of the people and the property and riches of the socialist nation;
– directs in a planned way the national economy;
– assures the educational, scientific, technical and cultural progress of the country;
– that every man or woman, who is able to work, have the opportunity to have a job with which to contribute to the good of society and to the satisfaction of individual needs;
– that no disabled person be left without adequate mean of subsistence;
– that no sick person be left without medical care;
– that no child be left without schooling, food and clothing;
– that no young person be left without the opportunity to study;
– that no one be left without access to studies, culture and sports;
ARTICLE 10. All state bodies, their leaders, officials and employees function within the limits of their respective competency and are under the obligation to strictly observe socialist legality and to look after the respect of the same within the context of the whole of society.
ARTICLE 11. The state exercises its sovereignty:
The Republic of Cuba rejects and considers illegal and null all treaties, pacts and concessions which were signed in conditions of inequality, or which disregard or diminish its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Economic, diplomatic or political relations with other states shall never be negotiated under aggression, threat or coercion by a foreign power.
ARTICLE 12. The Republic of Cuba espouses the principles of anti-imperialism and internationalism, and
ARTICLE 13. The Republic of Cuba grants asylum to those who are persecuted because of their ideals or their struggles for democratic rights; against imperialism, fascism, colonialism and neocolonialism; against discrimination and racism; for national liberation; for the rights of workers, peasants and students and the redress of their grievances; for their progressive political, scientific, artistic and literary activities; for socialism and peace.
ARTICLE 14. In the Republic of Cuba rules the socialist system of economy based on the people’s socialist ownership of the fundamental means of production and on the abolition of the exploitation of man by man.
In Cuba also rules the principle of socialist distribution of “from each according to his capacity, to each according to his work.” The law establishes the provisions which guarantee the effective fulfillment of this principle.
ARTICLE 15. Socialist state property, which is the property of the entire people, comprises:
Property ownership may not be transferred to natural persons or legal entities, save for exceptional cases in which the partial or total transfer of an economic objective is carried out for the development of the country and does not affect the political, social and economic foundations of the state, prior to approval by the Council of Ministers or its Executive Committee.
The transfer of other property rights to state enterprises and other entities authorized to fulfill this objective will be prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 16. The state organizes, directs and controls the economic life of the nation according to a plan that guarantees the programmed development of the country, with the purpose of strengthening the socialist system, of increasingly satisfying the material and cultural needs of society and of citizens, of promoting the flourishing of human beings and their integrity, and of serving the progress and security of the country.
The workers of all branches of the economy and of the other spheres of social life have an active and conscious participation in the elaboration and execution of the production and development plans.
ARTICLE 17. The state directly administers the goods that make up the socialist property of the entire people’s, or may create and organize enterprises and entities to administer them, whose structure, powers, functions and the system of their relations are prescribed by law.
These enterprises and entities only answer for their debts through their financial resources, within the limits prescribed by law. The state does not answer for debts incurred by the enterprises, entities and other legal bodies, and neither do these answer for those incurred by the state.
ARTICLE 18. The state controls and directs foreign trade. The law establishes the state institutions and officials authorized to:
– create foreign trade enterprises;
– standardize and regulate export and import transactions; and
– determine the natural persons or legal bodies with judicial powers to carry out these export and import transactions and to sign trade agreements.
ARTICLE 19. The state recognizes the right of small farmers to legal ownership of their lands and other real estate and personal property necessary for the exploitation of their land, as prescribed by law.
Small farmers may only incorporate their lands to agricultural production cooperatives with the previous authorization of the competent state body and fulfillment of the other legal requirements. They may also sell their lands, swap them or transfer them for another title to the state and agricultural production cooperatives, or to small farmers in the cases, forms and conditions prescribed by law, without detriment to the preferential right of the state to the purchase of the land while paying a fair price.
Land leases, sharecropping, mortgages and all other acts which entail a lien on the land or cession to private individuals of the rights to the land which is the property of the small farmers are all prohibited.
The state supports the small farmers’ individual production which contributes to the national economy.
ARTICLE 20. Small farmers have the right to group themselves, in the way and following the requirements prescribed by law both for the purpose of agricultural production and for obtaining state loans and services.
The establishment of agricultural production cooperatives in the instances and ways prescribed by law is authorized. Ownership of the cooperatives, which constitutes an advanced and efficient form of socialist production, is recognized by the state.
The agricultural production cooperatives manage, own use and dispose of the goods they own, as prescribed by law and by its regulations.
Land owned by cooperatives may not be seized or taxed and its ownership may be transferred to other cooperatives or to the state, according to the causes and as prescribed by law.
The state gives all possible support to this form of agricultural production.
ARTICLE 21. The state guarantees the right to personal ownership of earnings and savings derived from one’s own work, of the dwelling to which one has legal title and of the other possessions and objects which serve to satisfy one’s material and cultural needs.
Likewise, the state guarantees the right of citizens to ownership of their personal or family work tools. These tools may not be used to obtain earning derived from the exploitation of the work of others.
The law establishes the amount of goods owned by a person which can be seized.
ARTICLE 22. The state recognizes the right of political, mass and social organizations to ownership of the goods intended for the fulfillment of their objectives.
ARTICLE 23. The state recognizes the right to legal ownership of joint ventures, companies and economic associations which are created as prescribed by law.
The use enjoyment and disposal of the goods owned by the above-mentioned entities are ruled by that prescribed by law and by accords, as well as by their statutes and regulations.
ARTICLE 24. The state recognizes the right of citizens to inherit legal title to a place of residence and to other personal goods and chattels.
The land and other goods linked to production in the small farmers’ property may be inherited by and only be awarded to those heirs who work the land, save exceptions and as prescribed by law.
The law prescribes the cases, conditions and ways under which the goods of cooperative ownership may by inherited.
ARTICLE 25. The expropriation of property for reasons of public benefit or social interest and with due compensation is authorized.
The law establishes the method for the expropriation and the bases on which the need for and usefulness of this action is to be determined, as well as the form of compensation, taking into account the interest and the economic and social needs of the person whose property has been expropriated.
ARTICLE 26. Anybody who suffers damages unjustly caused by a state official or employee while in the performance of his public functions has the right to claim and obtain the corresponding indemnification as prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 27. The state the environment and natural resources. It recognizes the close links they have with sustainable economic and social development to make human life more rational and to ensure the survival, well-being and security of present and future generations. The application of this policy corresponds to the competent bodies.
It is the duty of citizens to contribute to the protection of the waters, atmosphere, the conservation of the soil, flora, fauna and nature’s entire rich potential.
ARTICLE 28. Cuban citizenship is acquired by birth or through naturalization.
ARTICLE 29. Cuban citizens by birth are:
ARTICLE 30. Cuban citizens by naturalization are:
ARTICLE 31. Neither marriage nor its dissolution affect the citizenship status of either of the spouses or their children.
ARTICLE 32. Cubans may not be deprived of their citizenship save for established legal causes. Neither may they be deprived of the right to change citizenship.
Dual citizenship is not recognized. Therefore, when a foreign citizenship is acquired, the Cuban one will be lost.
Formalization of the loss of citizenship and the authorities empowered to decide on this is prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 33. Cuban citizenship may be regained in those cases and ways specified by law.
ARTICLE 34. Foreign residents in the territory of the Republic are equal to Cubans in:
– the safeguarding of persons and property;
– the enjoyment of the rights and the fulfillment of the duties recognized in this Constitution, under the conditions and with the limitations prescribed by law;
– the obligation to observe the Constitution and the law;
– the obligation to contribute to the public expenditure in the form and amount prescribed by law;
– the submission to the jurisdiction and resolutions of the Republic’s courts of justice and authorities.
The law establishes the cases and the ways in which foreigners may be expelled from national territory and the authorities empowered to decide on this.
ARTICLE 35. The state protects the family, motherhood and matrimony.
The state recognizes the family as the main nucleus of society and attributes to it the important responsibilities and functions in the education and formation of the new generations.
ARTICLE 36. Marriage is the voluntarily established union between a man and a woman, who are legally fit to marry, in order to live together. It is based on full equality of rights and duties for the partners, who must see to the support of the home and the integral education of their children through a joint effort compatible with the social activities of both.
The law regulates the formalization, recognition and dissolution of marriage and the rights and obligations deriving from such acts.
ARTICLE 37. All children have the same rights, regardless of being born in or out of wedlock.
Any qualification concerning the nature of the filiation is abolished.
No statement shall be made either with to the difference in birth or the civil status of the parents in the registration of the children’s birth or in any other documents that mention parenthood.
The state guarantees, through adequate legal mean, the determination and recognition of paternity.
ARTICLE 38. The parents have the duty to provide nourishment for their children; to help them to defend their legitimate interests and in the realization of their just aspirations; and to contribute actively to their education and integral development as useful and well-prepared citizens for life in a socialist society.
It is the children’s duty, in turn, to respect and help their parents.
EDUCATION AND CULTURE
ARTICLE 39. The state orients, foments and promotes education, culture and science in all their manifestations.
Its educational and cultural policy is based on the following principles:
The state maintains a broad scholarship system for students and provides the workers with multiple opportunities to study to be able to attain the highest possible of knowledge and skills.
The law established the integration and structure of the national system of education and the extent of compulsory education and defines the minimum level of general education that every citizen should acquire;
In order to make this principle a reality, general education and specialized scientific, technical or artistic education are combined with work, development research, physical education, sports, participation in political and social activities and military training;
ARTICLE 40. The state and society give special protection to children and young people.
It is the duty of the family, the schools, the state agencies and the social and mass organizations to pay special attention to the integral development of children and young people.
ARTICLE 41. All citizens have equal rights and are subject to equal duties.
ARTICLE 42. Discrimination because of race, skin color, sex, national origin, religious beliefs and any other form of discrimination harmful to human dignity is forbidden and will be punished by law.
The institutions of the state educate everyone from the earliest possible age in the principle of equality among human beings.
ARTICLE 43. The state consecrates the right achieved by the Revolution that all citizens, regardless of race, skin color, sex, religious belief, national origin and any situation that may be harmful to human dignity:
– have access, in keeping with their merits and abilities, to all state, public administration, and production services positions and jobs;
– can reach any rank in the Revolutionary Armed Forces and in Security and internal order, in keeping with their merits and abilities;
– be given equal pay for equal work;
– have a right to education at all national educational institutions, ranging from elementary schools to the universities, which are the same for all;
– be given health care in all medical institutions;
– live in any sector, zone or area and stay in any hotel;
– be served at all restaurants and other public service establishments;
– use, without any separations, all means of transportation by sea, land and air;
– enjoy the same resorts, beaches, parks, social centers and other centers of culture, sports, recreation and rest.
ARTICLE 44. Women and men have the same rights in the economic, political, cultural and social fields, as well as in the family.
The state guarantees women the same opportunities and possibilities as men, in order to achieve woman’s full participation in the development of the country.
The state organizes such institutions as children’s day-care centers, semi-boarding schools and boarding schools, homes for the elderly and services to make it easier for the working family to carry out its responsibilities.
The state looks after women’s health as well as that of their offspring, giving working women paid maternity leave before and after giving birth and temporary work options compatible with their maternal activities.
The state strives to create all the conditions which help make real the principle of equality.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, DUTIES AND GUARANTEES
ARTICLE 45. Work in a socialist society is a right and duty and a source of pride for every citizen.
Work is remunerated according to its quality and quantity; when it is provided, the needs of the economy and of society, the choice of worker and his skills and ability are taken into account; this is guaranteed by the socialist economic system, that facilitates social and economic development, without crises, and has thus eliminated unemployment and the “dead season.”
Nonpaid, voluntary work carried out for the benefit of all society in industrial, agricultural, technical, artistic and service activities is recognized as playing an important role in the formation of our people’s communist awareness.
Every worker has the duty to faithfully carry tasks corresponding to him at his job.
ARTICLE 46. All those who work have the right to rest, which is guaranteed by the eight-hour workday, a weekly rest period and annual paid vacations.
The state contributes to the development of vacation plans and facilities.
ARTICLE 47. By means of the Social Security System the state assures adequate protection to every worker who is unable to work because of age, illness or disability.
If the worker dies this protection will be extended to his family.
ARTICLE 48. The state protects, by means of social assistance, senior citizens lacking financial resources or anyone to take them in or care for them, and anyone who is unable to work and has no relatives who can help them.
ARTICLE 49. The state guarantees the right to protection, safety and hygiene on the job by means of the adoption of adequate measures for the prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases.
Anyone who suffers an accident on the job or is affected by an occupational disease has the right to medical care and to compensation or retirement in those cases in which temporary or permanent work disability ensues.
ARTICLE 50. Everyone has the right to health protection and care. The state guarantees this right;
– by providing free medical and hospital care by means of the installations of the rural medical service network, polyclinics, hospitals, preventative and specialized treatment centers;
– by providing free dental care;
– by promoting the health publicity campaigns, health education, regular medical examinations, general vaccinations and other measures to prevent the outbreak of disease. All the population cooperates in these activities and plans through the social and mass organizations.
ARTICLE 51. Everyone has the right to education. This right is guaranteed by the free and widespread system of schools, semi-boarding and boarding schools and scholarships of all kinds and at all levels of education and because of the fact that all educational material is provided free of charge, which gives all children and young people, regardless of their family’s economic position, the opportunity to study in keeping with their ability, social demands and the needs of socioeconomic development.
Adults are also guaranteed this right; education for them is free of charge and with the specific facilities regulated by law, by means of the adult education program, technical and vocational education, training courses in state agencies and enterprises and the advanced courses for workers.
ARTICLE 52. Everyone has the right to physical education, sports and recreation.
Enjoyment of this right is assured by including the teaching and practice of physical education and sports in the curricula of the national educational system; and by the broad nature of the instruction and means placed at the service of the people, which makes possible the practice of sports and recreation on a mass basis.
ARTICLE 53. Citizens have freedom of speech and of the press in keeping with the objectives of socialist society. Material conditions for the exercise of that right are provided by the fact that the press, radio, television, cinema, and other mass media are state or social property and can never be private property. This assures their use at exclusive service of the working people and in the interests of society.
The law regulated the exercise of those freedoms.
ARTICLE 54. The rights to assembly, demonstration and association are exercised by workers, both manual and intellectual, peasants, women, students and other sectors of the working people, and they have the necessary means for this. The social and mass organizations have all the facilities they need to carry out those activities in which the members have full freedom of speech and opinion based on the unlimited right of initiative and criticism.
ARTICLE 55. The state, which recognizes, respects and guarantees freedom of conscience and of religion, also recognizes, respects and guarantees every citizen’s freedom to change religious beliefs or to not have any, and to profess, within the framework of respect for the law, the religious belief of his preference.
The law regulates the state’s relations with religious institutions.
ARTICLE 56. The home is inviolable. Nobody can enter the home of another against his will, except in those cases foreseen by law.
ARTICLE 57. Mail is inviolable. It can only be seized, opened and examined in cases prescribed by law. Secrecy is maintained on matters other than those which led to the examination.
The same principle is to be applied in the case of cable, telegraph and telephone communications.
ARTICLE 58. Freedom and inviolability of persons is assured to all those who live in the country.
Nobody can be arrested, except in the manner, with the guarantees and in the cases indicated by law.
The persons who has been arrested or the prisoner is inviolable in his personal integrity.
ARTICLE 59. Nobody can be tried or sentenced except by the competent court by virtue of laws which existed prior to the crime and with the formalities and guarantees that the laws establish.
Every accused person has the right to a defense.
No violence or pressure of any kind can be used against people to force them to testify,
All statements obtained in violation of the above precept are null and void and those responsible for the violation will be punished as outlined by law.
ARTICLE 60. Confiscation of property is only applied as a punishment by the authorities in the cases and by the methods determined by law.
ARTICLE 61. Penal laws are retroactive when they benefit the accused or person who has been sentenced. Other laws are not retroactive unless the contrary is decided for reasons of social interest or because it is useful for public purposes.
ARTICLE 62. None of the freedoms which are recognized for citizens can be exercised contrary to what is established in the Constitution and by law, or contrary to the existence and objectives of the socialist state, or contrary to the decision of the Cuban people to build socialism and communism. Violations of this principle can be punished by law.
ARTICLE 63. Every citizen has the right to file complaints with and send petitions to the authorities and to be given the pertinent response or attention within a reasonable length of time, in keeping with the law.
ARTICLE 64. Every citizen has the duty of caring for public and social property, observing work discipline, respecting the rights of others, observing standards of socialist living and fulfilling civic and social duties.
ARTICLE 65. Defense of the socialist homeland is the greatest honor and the supreme duty of every Cuban citizen.
The law regulates the military service which Cubans must do.
Treason against one’s country is the most serious of crimes; those who commit it are subject to the most severe penalties.
ARTICLE 66. Strict fulfillment of the Constitution and the laws is an inexcusable duty of all.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
ARTICLE 67. In the case of or in the face of an imminent natural disaster or catastrophe or any other circumstance that because of its nature, proportion or importance affects public order, the country’s security or the state’s stability, the president of the Council of State may declare a state of emergency in the entire national territory or in part of it, and order the mobilization of the population while it is in force.
The law regulates the manner in which the state of emergency is declared, its effects and its termination. It also determines the fundamental rights and duties recognized in the Constitution, its exercise being regulated in a different manner during the time the state of emergency is in force.
PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZATION
AND FUNCTIONING OF STATE AGENCIES
ARTICLE 68. State agencies are set up carry out their activity based on the principles of socialist democracy, which are manifested in the following regulations:
HIGHER BODIES OF PEOPLE’S POWER
ARTICLE 69. The National Assembly of People’s Power is the supreme body of state power and represents and expresses the sovereign will of all the people.
ARTICLE 70. The National Assembly of People’s Power is the only body in the Republic invested with constituent and legislative authority.
ARTICLE 71. The National Assembly of People’s Power is comprised of deputies elected by free, direct and secret vote, in the proportion and according to the procedure established by law.
ARTICLE 72. The National Assembly of People’s Power is elected for a period of five years.
The period can only extended by virtue of a resolution of the Assembly itself in the event of war or in the case of other exceptional circumstances that may impede the normal holding of elections and while such circumstances exist.
ARTICLE 73. The National Assembly of People’s Power, on meeting for a new legislature, elects from among its deputies its president, vice president and secretary. The law regulates the manner and procedure in which the Assembly is constituted and carries out this election.
ARTICLE 74. The National Assembly of People’s Power elects, from among its deputies, the Council of State, which consists of one president, one first vice president, five vice presidents, one secretary and 23 other members.
The president of the Council of State is, at the same time, the head of state and head of government.
The Council of State is accountable for its action to the National Assembly of People’s Power, to which it must render accounts of all its activities.
ARTICLE 75. The National Assembly of People’s Power is invested with the following powers:
ARTICLE 76. All laws and resolutions of the National Assembly or People’s Power, barring those in relation to reforms in the Constitution, are adopted by a simple majority vote.
ARTICLE 77. All laws approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power go into effect on the date determined by those laws in each case.
Laws, decree-laws, decrees and resolutions, regulations and other general provisions of the national state bodies are published in the Official Gazette of the Republic.
ARTICLE 78. The National Assembly of People’s Power holds two regular sessions a year and a special session when requested by one third of the membership or when called by the Council of State.
ARTICLE 79. More than half of the total number of deputies must be present for a session of the National Assembly of People’s Power to be held.
ARTICLE 80. All sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power are public, excepting when the Assembly resolves to hold a closed-door session on the grounds of state interest.
ARTICLE 81. The president of the National Assembly of People’s Power is invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 82. The status of deputy does not entail personal privileges or economic benefits of any kind.
During the period in which they carry out their activities, the deputies receive the same salary as in their workplace and maintain their links with it, for all purposes.
ARTICLE 83. No deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power may be arrested or placed on trial without the authorization of the Assembly – or the Council of State if the Assembly is not in session – except in cases of flagrant offenses.
ARTICLE 84. It is the duty of the deputies to the National Assembly of People” Power to exercises their duties in benefit of the people” interests, stay in contact with their electors, listen to their problems, suggestions and criticism, and explain the policy of the state. They will also render account to them of the results of their activities, as prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 85. The mandate of the deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power may be revoked at any time, in the ways and for the causes prescribed by law.
ARTICLE 86. The deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power have the right to make inquiries to the Council of State, the Council of Ministers or the members of either and to have these inquiries answered during the course of the same session or at the next session.
ARTICLE 87. It is the duty of all state bodies and enterprises to provide all necessary cooperation to the deputies in the discharge of their duties.
ARTICLE 88. The proposal of laws is the responsibility of:
ARTICLE 89. The Council of State is the body of the National Assembly of People’s Power that represents it in the period between sessions, puts its resolutions into effect and complies with all the other duties assigned by the Constitution.
It is collegiate and for national and international purposes it is the highest representative of the Cuban state.
ARTICLE 90. The Council of State is invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 91. All the decisions of the Council of State are adopted by a simple majority vote of its members.
ARTICLE 92. The mandate entrusted to the Council of State by the National Assembly of People’s Power expires when the new Council of State, elected by virtue of its periodic renovation, takes power.
ARTICLE 93. The president of the Council of State is head of government and is invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 94. In cases of the absence, illness or death of the president of the Council of State, the first vice president assumes the president’s duties.
ARTICLE 95. The Council of Ministers is the highest ranking executive and administrative body and constitutes the government of the Republic.
The number, denomination and functions of the ministries and central agencies making up the Council of Ministers are determined by law.
ARTICLE 96. The Council of Ministers is composed of the head of state and government, as its president, the first vice president, the vice presidents, the ministers, the secretary and the other members that the law determines.
ARTICLE 97. The president, first vice president, vice presidents and other members of the Council of Ministers, as determined by the president, make up the Executive Committee.
In periods between the meetings of the Council of Ministers, the Executive Committee can decide on matters under the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers.
ARTICLE 98. The Council of Ministers is invested with the power to:
The law regulates the organization and functioning of the Council of Ministers.
ARTICLE 99. The Council of Ministers is accountable to and periodically renders account of its activities to the National Assembly of People’s Power.
ARTICLE 100. The members of the Council of Ministers are invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 101. The National Defense Council is constituted and prepared during peacetime to lead the country in conditions of a state of war, during a war, a general mobilization or a state of emergency. The law regulates its organization and activities.
ARTICLE 102. For political-administrative purposes the country is divided into provinces and municipalities; their number, boundaries and names are determined by law.
The law many also establish other divisions.
The province is the local society having, to all legal effects, a juridical personality. It is politically organized according to law to serve as an intermediate link between the central and municipal governments, covering a surface area equivalent to the municipalities within its demarcation. It exercises the functions and fulfills the state and administrative duties which are under its jurisdiction and has the fundamental duty of promoting the economic and social development of its territory, for which it coordinates and controls the fulfillment of the policies, programs and plans approved by the higher state bodies, with the support of its municipalities and taking their interests into account.
The municipality is the local society having, to all legal effects, a juridical personality. It is politically organized according to law, covering a surface are that is determined by the necessary economic and social relations of its population, and with the capacity to meet the minimum local needs.
The provinces and municipalities, in addition to exercising their corresponding functions, contribute to the realization of the state’s objectives.
LOCAL BODIES OF PEOPLE’S POWER
ARTICLE 103. The Assemblies of People’s Power set up in the political-administrative divisions into which the country is divided are the higher local bodies of state power. Therefore, they are invested with the highest authority for the exercise of their state functions within their respective boundaries. To this effect they govern in all that is under their jurisdiction and the law.
They also aid in the development of activities and the fulfillment of plans of those units in their territory which are not subordinated to them, as prescribed by law.
The local administrations established by these Assemblies direct the economic, production and service entities locally subordinated to them, with the purpose of meeting the needs for economic, health care, assistance, educational, cultural, sports and recreational services of the collective in the territory under the jurisdiction of each.
For the exercise of their functions the local Assemblies of People’s Power find support in the People’s Councils and the initiative and broad participation of the population and they act in close coordination with the social and mass organizations.
ARTICLE 104. The People’s Councils are constituted in cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas; they are invested with the highest authority for carrying out their functions; they represents the territory where they carry out their functions and also represent the municipal, provincial and national bodies of People’s Power.
They work actively for efficiency in the development of production and service activities and for meeting the needs for health care, economic, educational, cultural and social activities of the population, promoting the broadest participation of the population and the local initiatives to resolve their problems.
They coordinate the work of the existing entities in their field of action, promote cooperation among them and control and supervise their activities.
The People’s Councils are made up of the delegates elected in the districts, who must choose among themselves their president. The representatives of mass organizations and the most important institutions in the territory may form part of the Councils.
The law regulates the organizations and functions of the People’s Councils.
ARTICLE 105. In the limits of their jurisdiction, the Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power are invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 106. In the limits of their jurisdiction, the Municipal Assemblies of People’s power are invested with the power to:
ARTICLE 107. The regular and special sessions of the local Assemblies of People’s Power are public, except in cases when it is agreed to hold them behind closed doors for reasons of state or when matters referring to the decorum of persons are involved.
ARTICLE 108. In order for agreements of the local Assemblies of People’s Power to be valid, more than half of the total number of members must be present. Agreements are adopted by simple majority.
ARTICLE 109. The entities organized to meet local needs with the aim of fulfilling their specific objectives, are ruled by laws, decree-laws and decrees; by agreements adopted by the Council of Ministers; by regulations issued by the heads of central state administration agencies on matters under their jurisdiction which are of general interest and that require being regulated on a national level; and by agreements adopted by the local bodies to which they are subordinated.
ARTICLE 110. The permanent work commissions are constituted by the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power to meet the specific interests of their localities, in order to help them carry out their activities and especially to control and supervise the locally subordinated entities and others corresponding to further levels of subordination which are located in their territory.
Temporary commissions fulfill specific tasks assigned within the time limits indicated.
ARTICLE 111. The Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power are renovated every five years, which is the delegates’ tern of office.
The Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power are renovated every two and a half years, which is the delegates’ tern of office.
These terns may only be extended by decision of the National Assembly of People’s Power, in the cases mentioned in Article 72.
ARTICLE 112. The tern of the delegated to local Assemblies may be revoked at any time. The law prescribes the manner, the cases and the methods in which they may be revoked.
ARTICLE 113. The delegates fulfill the mandate of their electors, in the interest of all the community, for which they must coordinate their functions as such with their usual responsibilities and tasks. The law regulates the manner in which these functions are carried out.
ARTICLE 114. The delegates to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power have the rights and duties conferred by the Constitution and by law and they are especially obliged to:
ARTICLE 115. The delegates to the Provincial Assemblies of People’s Power have the duty to carry out their activities for the benefit of the collective and report on the measures taken by them on a personal basis, according to the procedure established by law.
ARTICLE 116. The Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power elect their president and vice president from among their delegates.
ARTICLE 117. The president of the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power are also the presidents of their respective administration bodies and represent the state in their territories. Their functions are established by law.
ARTICLE 118. The administration bodies which constitute the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power work on a collegiate basis and their composition, integration, functions and duties are established by law.
ARTICLE 119. The Provincial and Municipal Defense Councils and the Defense Zone Councils are constituted and organized during peacetime to conduct their respective territories’ affairs, in conditions of a state of war, during a war, a general mobilization or a state of emergency, based on the general defense plan and the army’s military councils corresponding role and responsibilities. The National Defense Council determines, according to law, the organization and functions of these Councils.
THE COURTS AND THE OFFICE
OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
ARTICLE 120. The function of administering justice springs from the people and is carried out on its behalf by the People’s Supreme Court and the other courts which the law establishes.
The law establishes the main objectives of judicial activity and regulates the organization of the courts; the extension of their jurisdiction and competence; their authority and the form of exercising it; the standards that judges must meet, the manner in which they must be elected and the causes and methods for recalling them or for the cessation of their functions.
ARTICLE 121. The courts constitute a system of state bodies which are set up with functional independence from all other systems and they are only subordinated to the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State.
The People’s Supreme Court is the foremost judicial authority and its decisions in this field are final.
Through its Governing Council it can propose and issue regulations; make decisions and enact norms whose fulfillment is compulsory for all courts and, based on their experience, it issues instructions which are also compulsory in order to establish uniform judicial practice in the interpretation and application of the law.
ARTICLE 122. The judges, in their function of administering justice, are independent and only owe obedience to the law.
ARTICLE 123. The sentences and other decisions of the courts, pronounced or enacted within the limits of their jurisdiction, must be obeyed and implemented by state agencies, economic and social institutions and citizens, by those directly affected and by those who do not have a direct interest in their implementation but have the only the duty to participate in it.
ARTICLE 124. For administering justice all courts function in a collegiate form and professional and lay judges participate in them with equal rights and duties.
The judicial functions assigned to lay judges, in view of their social importance, have priority over their usual occupation.
ARTICLE 125. The courts render an account of the results of their work in the manner and with the periodicity established by law.
ARTICLE 126. Judges can only be recalled by the body which elected them.
ARTICLE 127. The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic is the state body which has, as its fundamental objective, jurisdiction over the control and preservation of legality by ensuring that the Constitution, the law and other legal regulations are strictly obeyed by state agencies, economic and social entities and citizens; and representing the state in the promotion and exercise of public legal action.
The law determines the other objectives and functions as well as the form, duration and occasion in which the Office of the Attorney General exercises its power.
ARTICLE 128. The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic constitutes an organic unit which is only subordinated to the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State.
The Attorney General of the Republic is given instructions directly from the Council of State.
The Attorney General of the Republic will handle the direction and control of all the work done by his office all over the country.
The bodies of the Office of the Attorney General are organized in a vertical manner all over the country. They are subordinate only to the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic and are independent of all local bodies.
ARTICLE 129. The Attorney General of the Republic and the assistant attorney generals are elected and subject to recall by the National Assembly of People’s Power.
ARTICLE 130. The Attorney General of the Republic renders an account of his work to the National Assembly of People’s Power in the form and with the periodicity established by law.
ARTICLE 131. All citizens, with the legal capacity to do so, have the right to take part in the leadership of the state, directly or through their elected representatives to the bodies of People’s Power, and to participate, for this purpose and as prescribed by law, in the periodic elections and people’s referendums through free, equal and secret vote. Every voter has only vote.
ARTICLE 132. All Cubans over 16 years of age, men and women alike, have the right to vote except those who:
ARTICLE 133. All Cuban citizens, men and women alike, who have full political rights can be elected.
If the election is for deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power they must be more than 18 years old.
ARTICLE 134. Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and other military institutions of the nation have the right to elect and be elected, just like any other citizen.
ARTICLE 135. The law determines the number of delegates that make up each of the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies, in proportion to the number of people who live in each of the regions into which, for electoral purposes, the country is divided.
The delegates to the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies are elected by the voters through free, direct and secret vote. Moreover, the law regulates the procedure for their election.
ARTICLE 136. In order for deputies or delegates to be considered elected they must get more than half the number of valid votes cast in the electoral districts.
If this does not happen, or in cases of vacant posts, the law regulates the procedure to be followed.
ARTICLE 137. This Constitution can only be totally or partially modified by the National Assembly of People’s Power by means of resolutions adopted by roll-call vote by a majority of no less than two-thirds of the total number of members, except as regards: the political, social and economic system, whose irrevocable nature is established by Article 3 of Chapter I; or the provisions of Article 11 proscribing negotiation under aggression, threat or coercion by a foreign power.
If the modification is total of has to do with the integration and authority of the National Assembly of People’s Power or its Council of State or the rights and duties contained in the Constitution, the approval of the majority of citizens with the right to vote is required via a referendum organized for this purpose by the Assembly.
Between June 15 and 18, 2002, almost the whole of the Cuban people expressed their unconditional support for amendments to the Constitution proposed by an Extraordinary Assembly of all the national headquarters of the mass organizations, held on the 10th of that month. This ratified the entire Constitution of the Republic and proposed that the socialist nature and political and social system it contains be declared irrevocable, as a fitting and categorical response to the demands and threats made by the United States imperialist administration on May 20, 2002 . The proposal was approved by the unanimous passing of Resolution No. V-74 at an Extraordinary Session of the Fifth Legislature, held between June 24 and 26, 2002.
This Constitution, which was proclaimed on February 24, 1976 , contains the reforms approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power in the 11th Regular Session of the 3rd Legislature, held on July 10, 11 and 12 of 1992.
This version of the Cuban Constitution was posted to the website of the Cuban parliament, but isn’t posted there any longer. I’m assuming there is no OFFICIAL English translation of the Constitution, since Spanish is the official language of the nation. Note that the translation uses British rather than US English. A printed edition was published by Editora Politica in 2004.
Oxford University PDF version:
Author: Grupo Empresarial Correos de Cuba | email@example.com
July 30, 2018 18:07:43
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Directorate of Institutional Communication of the Business Group Correos de Cuba announced that as of Tuesday, July 31st, the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba will be commercialized in all units and press boxes, in tabloid format of 32 pages, and will be commercialized through the national postal network at the price of one peso (cup).
First, on Tuesday, July 31st, it will be sold in the post office and press room units of the provinces of Havana, Mayabeque, Artemisa and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.
As of Wednesday, August 1, it will begin to be sold in the post office and press room units of the provinces of Pinar del Río, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Villa Clara, Sancti Spíritus and Ciego de Ávila.
Meanwhile, starting on Friday, August 3, it will be sold in the post office and press room units in the provinces of Camagüey, Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.
As reported by the mass media, the draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba will be submitted for popular consultation between 13 August and 15 November 2018.
Directorate of Institutional Communication Grupo Empresarial Correos de Cuba
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
Although it is an elective office with more ceremonial than political importance, the circumstances surrounding the person chosen to chair the meetings of the UN’s highest body has resonanated widely in the diplomatic media around the world.
With a vote of 128 countries in favor and 62 against, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa was elected President of the General Assembly of the United Nations for the 73rd session of the organization’s highest world body, from September 2018 until the September 2019.
The Latin American Information Agency (ALAI) based in Ecuador, is dedicated to the dissemination of information and the defence of the right to information. communication, research and training of experts from the United Nations system. and social organizations in the communication processes of America Latin America. ALAI, points out that Espinosa, 53, became the first Latin American women and fourth in the world to occupy this position. in the f the world organization’s 73 year life.
According to ALAI “this election was a setback for the government of the United States which did not approve of the progressive profile of Foreign Minister Espinosa. In the last eleven years, she has held high office during the government of Rafael Correa and was appointed Foreign Minister of the Republic by the President Lenin Moreno. The latter won with a program that contemplated the continuation of the Citizens’ Revolution led by Correa, on whom Moreno later turned his back.”
Espinosa’s election is a recognition of Ecuador’s foreign policy of recent years. She hass been recognized internationally when she was named chair of the G77 plus China (2017). In addition, Ecuador, together with South Africa, chairs a working group in the Human Rights Council, which seeks to to establish a legally binding instrument to regulate the transnational corporations, among other laudable purposes.
Washington was pulling its strings to block theEcuadorian’s candidacy. It openly supported the Honduran Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake, daughter of ex-president of the President Carlos Flores Facussé, who was trained United States universities.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley met with President Juan Orlando Hernandez for this purpose when he visited Honduras in February of this year to thank Honduras for its vote in favor of the resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel without regard to Palestine.
By the way, this Washington-driven decision was one of the most important reasons that contributed to Flores’s defeat in the election for the United Nations General Assembly presidency.
The choice of Espinosa is also – admits ALAI – a setback. for the Ecuadorian right-wing represented by the Creando Opportunities (CREO) and Social Christian (PSC) parties that have always been ready to follow American policy. In the last few weeks, with the assistance of the major private media and diplomats from the right, a campaign was launched that had never been seen before because of its intensity against Foreign Minister Espinosa. In the media and social networks they launched hateful accusations in which there is they spared no epithets against Espinosa, such as “castrochavista”, “Sandinista,” etc.
In order to prejudice Espinosa’s candidacy at the United Nations, CREO and the PSC tried unsuccessfully to prosecute politically in the National Assembly to Espinosa for “failure to comply with the functions of her office.”
“Sensitive as he is to media pressure, President Lenin Moreno soon winked at the campaign. In his own style and with a little tap under Espinosa, Moreno broke away from the decision to grant Ecuadorian citizenship to Julian Assange, a refugee who had been given asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in the United Kingdom. This was one of the most important themes of the alleged political trial of Espinosa as was the media campaign against her.”
María Fernanda Espinosa dedicated her election “to all the women of the world who today are involved in politics, who are facing attacks by political and media circles marked by machismo and discrimination”, as the Ecuadorian diplomat pointed out in her speech at the United Nations after her election.
She said one of her biggest challenges will be to accompany implementation of reforms to the United Nations system. “We have the challenge of build a stronger and more efficient organization.
Strengthening multilateralism is not an option, it is an obligation. It is urgent that the United Nations show a capacity to respond to the needs of the United Nations global challenges, and for the organization to move closer to people, Espinosa said.
June 11, 2018.
By Esteban Morales Domínguez
June 16, 2017
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
As has been said, we are working on a theoretical foundation of the Economic Model. Let´s not forget that the economy is essential, but it cannot be sustained without a Political Model.
Moreover, dialectically speaking, the economy is fundamental, but it is not always so in every particular moment of social dynamics. Quite frequently, politics prevails over the economy.
A call should be made to work on a theoretical foundation for our political model: the one that, whether we like it or not, will come about from the impact of the changes that will come as a result of the new economic model.
In a way, the recent speech by Vice President Diaz-Canel lays down that route when he calls upon universities, research centers, and the intelligentsia to conceptualize the processes that are taking place in the nation. They must emerge from ideological discussion, controversies and a critical, committed, and revolutionary analysis.
The discussion would have to cover several issues to produce a foundation for our socioeconomic model. It has to be seen within the dynamics of the changes that the process of conceptual and practical adjustments of the new economic model demands.
In our view, this process would have to address the following fundamental aspects:
-Firstly, it is not possible to fulfill the tasks that we have set in the economic, political and social fields if we do not obtain the most complete and dynamic participation of workers and all Cubans in that process. Participation is the key to success in everything we do to push forward the changes.
-For this reason, it is fundamental that all the organizations, led by the Party, finally break away from the schemas that limit the participation of each citizen –and in particular of each party member– in the discussion of problems.
-The structuring of Cuban civil society must be thoroughly examined. The structure must represent the new interests that emerge beyond those represented by the existing political and mass organizations. These should act as transmission mechanisms of the party´s politics, taking into consideration that citizens have private interests that go beyond those already represented in these organizations.
-Cuban media must leave behind secrecy, schematic thought, elitism, and exclusiveness in information management. It should give the revolutionary intelligentsia the widest participation in the critical analysis of difficulties so that it becomes a real platform for discussing the problems that affect us.
-The masses must feel that within the Party, state, government and other levels of the political structure there is an open space for criticism, for questioning policies, pointing out mistakes, and critical harassment of the bureaucracy that hinders processes. These actions should receive support and obtain appropriate answers.
-Party militants must be alert because there are “moles”: individuals posing as revolutionaries who slow down the processes, carry out some activities to introduce mistrust, discomfort, and discouragement and serve as subversion’s fifth column.
I think that a fundamental task before us is to pick out those who –by ignorance or intention– hinder the process the country is carrying forward. This is the new “counter-revolution” which, like corruption, can be found in the higher echelons of the country´s leadership, in the political and mass organizations, and in social institutions.
Undoubtedly, there is resistance to change on the part of certain elements in society. Especially in the media, which despite the many criticisms it has received, continues without making the expected contribution.
But is this something for which journalists are responsible? I do not think so. It seems that the responsibility is at the highest level of the Party that refuses to change the pattern with which it has led the media.
In my view, this is a clear indication that resistance to change can also come from the high echelons of the country’s leadership.
The same can be said regarding several issues in our social reality.
-Particularly on the racial theme –one of great sensitivity– the above-mentioned incongruities become evident. The schools, the media, and science have just begun to move forward to tackle the issue. This, in spite of the fact that we face the reality that subversion tries to turn it into a weapon against the revolution and the country.
There is no institutional racism as such, but state institutions responsible for working to solve the problem –and its different manifestations– are far behind in the tasks that must be carried out.
Progress has already been made in the fields of education and scientific work, but neither the printed media nor TV have embraced their role.
Fidel Castro and President Raul Castro have repeatedly referred to the problem as a shameful evil that Cuban society still drags on, but little progress has been made in banishing the problem from our social relations.
Both the racial issue and the media are two clear examples of the resistance that exists, hindering the advancement of projects directly related to the changes the country must make. These are also two objectives in the subversive plans against Cuba.
Nevertheless, I think that the most complex phenomenon we are facing today is the combination of resistance to assimilating and acting consequently, as the follow-up to the criticisms made by the highest political leadership; the magnitude of the problems; and the age limit of that political leadership.
Today Cuba finds itself at the crossroads of substantial change. No one knows if it will be led to term by the historic leadership of the Revolution. It is true that this leadership is in turn responsible for the mistakes made. At the same time, it is the one with the capacity and the experience to lead the country along the new paths.