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  • Cuba's President Diaz-Canel (C-R) and Cuba's First Secretary of the Communist Party Raul Castro (C) in a march to celebrate the 166th birth anniversary of Jose Marti in Havana

    Cuba's President Diaz-Canel (C-R) and Cuba's First Secretary of the Communist Party Raul Castro (C) in a march to celebrate the 166th birth anniversary of Jose Marti in Havana | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 February 2019

Former Cuban Cultural Minister says the new constitution to be voted on Feb. 24 lays a 'solid foundation for universal health care, education and human dignity.'

Cubans will be voting soon on their newest constitution changing the island country’s magna carta that was last rewritten in 1976.

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"The constitutional text has a solid foundation in terms of achievements in Cuba, such as universal and free health, education, sports and recreation, culture and respect for human dignity," Abel Prieto, president of the Cultural Society Jose Marti and former Minister of Culture under President Raul Castro, said in an interview with Prensa Latina.  

The cultural expert says this newest constitution preserves the dignity and independence of Cuba. Prieto is urging all Cubans to vote on the constitution on Feb. 24, which was formulated via three months of public forums where all citizens were invited to contribute the final document that is 229 articles.

"No one should vote ‘No’ (on the constitutional) referendum,” says Prieto because “even though this Revolution ... has had errors like all human projects, these can’t be compared with the emancipatory accomplishments (that Cuba) has achieved over the past 60 years,” stressed Prieto.

“The constitutional referendum (shows) that the nation is decisively and has a large majority supporting the revolutionary process,” says Prieto.

One controversial revision to the 2019 Cuban constitution that was ultimately eliminated was the explicit recognition of same-sex marriage. The final draft to be voted on does away with the definition of marriage altogether which, some say, can still leave the door open to same-sex unions in the future.

“There is no setback,” wrote Mariela Castro, the daughter of Raul Castro an ardent LGBTQ rights supporter in Cuba last year on Facebook. “The fight continues, let’s give a ‘yes’ to the constitution, said Castro. She, among others, argues that the same-sex civil union can potentially be approved via family code updates within the next two years. 

The Cuban National Assembly approved the final draft of the new constitution on Dec. 22.

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