Havana, Cuba.- The popular consultation on the new Cuban Draft Constitution is in its final stage, after meetings have been held meetings in neighborhoods, workplaces and schools nationwide.
Convened by the People’s Power National Assembly, which approved the draft Constitution on July 22, discussions in all 15 Cuban provinces began on August 13 and will last until November 15.
Cubans working or residing abroad were part of a process that already involved more than seven million citizens, called to speak on a 224-article document that represents a total reform of the Constitution in force since 1976.
The most recent meetings ratified the people’s interest in issues such as changes in the structure of the State, the recognition of new forms of property, the role of investments in the economy, the expansion of guarantees and rights, and the inclusion of same-sex marriage.
According to Orlando Gonzalez, a pensioner, neither the age nor the terms of the President of the Republic, a figure that would be created along with that of the prime minister, if the new Constitution is approved in referendum, should be limited, while the engineer Fara Alvarez does agree with two terms for the statesman.
Article 68, which defines marriage as the union between two people without specifying sex, does not raised consensus, with several arguments in favor or against the initiative.
Other issues respond to the request to open investments for Cuban residents in the country and abroad, and to recognize the right to receive legal assistance for defense at the moment of detention.
According to legislators from the parliamentary commission in charge of drawing up the new Constitution, until early November, more than 111,000 meetings had been held throughout the country, with 1,445,289 interventions, including 560,000 proposals to modify the document, 27,238 additions, 38,505 eliminations and 33,781 doubts.
After 12 weeks of popular consultations, only eight of 755 paragraphs of the Draft Constitution have not received proposals.
At the end of the consultations, the mechanism in charge of handling the information, consisting of a national team of experts, will play a key role processing opinions, and a group of analysis, which work is supported by software from the University of Information Sciences.
The analysts are responsible for submitting the proposals considered suitable to enrich the text to the National Assembly’s temporary committee activated to draw up the text and composed of 33 lawmakers, including the first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, Raul Castro, who heads the commitee, and President Miguel Diaz-Canel.