The national consultation for draft constitution in Cuba, which began on Aug. 13, the day of Fidel Castro’s birthday, ends Thursday after months of debate and the participation of more than seven million people. The draft constitution was approved by the National Assembly of the People’s Power (Cuban Parliament) in its ordinary session of July 21 and 22.
More than 110,000 meetings were held in the country since the start of the process. According to the Secretary of the State Council, Homero Acosta, some 600,000 suggestions have been put forward by the citizens. For the first time, Cubans living abroad were able to participate in the debate.
The Cuban Parliament had called for a massive Twitter campaign from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. local time on the occasion of the end of the debate. #Cuba, #HacemosCuba and #ReformaConstitucional are labels that will be tributed to the millions of Cubans who had participated in the national consultation.
The Cuban Parliament wrote on its website, “With their active, committed and responsible participation in these meetings, the Cuban people attended not as a simple assistant but to give their free and effective contribution, knowing that their opinions would be collected and taken into account in the elaboration of the project. At the stage of the process that ends on Thursday, our people demonstrated an admirable civic conduct and unquestionable support for the Revolution on its way to a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.”
The Draft Constitution represents a reform of the 1976 constitution. The new constitution, while maintaining the socialist nature of the state and the leading role of the nation’s Communist party, will bring in reforms on homosexual marriages, recognition of private property, the sustainable use of natural resources, the inclusion of the right to an abortion, and access to basic services.
Along with that, issues like due process, decent housing, education and health, protection of animals, complaints and claims before the State, the National Assembly of People's Power-State Council and the autonomy of the municipality, were raised by the people.
Out of 755 paragraphs, only eight have not been addressed by the people.
The current constitution was amended twice, once in 1992 and again in 2002. The draft consists of a preamble and 224 articles, divided into 11 titles, 24 chapters, and 16 sections.
To guarantee the flow of opinions, an information processing team, and an analysis group, namely, Information Processing Analysis Group were put in place. The latter had been given the responsibility of sending the drafting committee the proposals that could enrich the constitution. The revised text, which will include citizens’ concerns, will be voted on and ratified through a referendum scheduled for February 2019.