A country (and a Constitution) with Everyone and for Everyone

The Republic’s first law should be that of respect to the dignity of all its children. In the country we dream and need, there cannot be space for discrimination.

The fact that the new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba explicitly rejects any discrimination is an achievement of all Cubans, regardless their beliefs, age, gender, skin color, skills, sexual orientation…

Without euphemisms, with all the letters, the project that is now reviewed by the citizenship opens a path for the effective reformation of some laws that still hinder (even, without the expressed attempt of doing so) the full exercise of rights.

That should be the nation dreamt by José Martí, of everyone and for everyone’s welfare. We must approach it dialectically. Because to try to arbitrarily compare views from the nineteenth century with those of the XXI century would mean to ignore the contributions of so many years of struggle and debates in all fields: social, political, cultural, economic…

The renovating postulates of this project of Constitution (they are many, although few focus on article 68 that establishes that marriage is the union between two people, without sex specifications), are not anyone’s whim: they are the outcome of deep reflection that has taken into account the demands and just aspirations of the citizenship.

The Constitution, obviously, is not enough to solve all conflicts. But it’s an indispensable rule: the beginning of a path that concerns us all. It’s not, it cannot be, a despotic imposition; it has to be the result of a national, respectful and deep debate, free of prejudices and devious interests.

It’s not worthy to negotiate a right: there are absolute rights. Granting them to those who don't enjoy them doesn't mean to strip them off of those who already have them. The limit of a man’s freedom is the one set by the freedom of another.

Can anyone affirm—speaking of the aforementioned article— that giving the right to two men or two women to get married, takes away that same right from a man and a woman?

There will be conceptual debates (let them be welcomed if they are respectful and well founded); but the right exists.

Education guarantees that the necessary changes can be assumed with fewer traumas, from convincing and not from imposition.

But education has to be a permanent process. There is so much left to educate, and much to discuss. But the Constitution should guarantee the foundation of that education and that discussion: to lay the road.

When the Revolution established laws against skin color or sex discrimination, not the entire population was persuaded of the need of those laws.

Racism and machismo were deep rooted in Cuban society. Does it mean that laws eliminated all manifestations of racism and machismo? Regrettably that was not true. But the law offered shelter to millions of people who were direct or indirectly discriminated against. And it was platform for an educational work that doesn't end, but that has attained unquestionable results.

To conquer all justice: that must be the objective of socialism. In order to achieve this, we must have a modern, functional, effective legal system, in permanent dialogue with the science and the conscience.

We need to learn from the past to build the present; we must take a look back to remember what we’ve done, but it’s imperative to look forward: a country, and a Constitution, where we all fit in.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Presidential election debate: Trump and Clinton clash

The two US presidential candidates have clashed over jobs, terrorism and race in a bitter television debate.

The attacks turned personal as Republican Donald Trump accused his rival Hillary Clinton of not having the right temperament to be president.

Meanwhile, Mrs Clinton baited Mr Trump by pointing out that he refuses to release his tax returns.

The New York showdown could be the most watched debate in TV history, with up to 100 million viewers.

US debate: Five Twitter takeaways

Key issues - where candidates stand

How does the US election work?

Hours before the programme, polls suggested the candidates were locked in a dead heat, adding to the tension between the rivals on stage throughout the debate.

The debate

"I have a feeling that by the end of this evening, I'm going to be blamed for everything that's ever happened," Mrs Clinton quipped when prompted to respond to one of Mr Trump's attacks.

"Why not?" Mr Trump interrupted.

"Yeah, why not," she answered. "You know, just join the debate by saying more crazy things."

What got people tweeting?

5 million tweets about the debate

  • 62% of them were about Trump

  • 444,000 were about NBC presenter Lester Holt (pictured)

  • 10,500 were about #UnlikelyDebateGuests

http://news.files.bbci.co.uk/vj/live/idt-images/data_pic-debate_tweets/lester_6nirb.jpgGetty Images

Mr Trump was later thrown on the defensive by moderator Lester Holt for not disclosing his tax returns.

He claimed he was under a "routine audit" and would release the document once the audit was finished.

But the hotel developer promised he would release them if his opponent released 33,000 emails that were deleted during an investigation into her private email set-up while secretary of state.

Out of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.

Mrs Clinton made a brief response to Mr Trump's attacks about her use of a private email server - which has haunted her on the campaign trail.

She said there were no excuses for the "mistake" and that she takes responsibility for it.

But she was also uncomfortable when defending her changing position on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Other debate highlights:

  • He said she did not have the stamina to be president, to which she replied that she visited 112 countries as secretary of state
  • African Americans are living "in hell" in the US due to gun violence, Mr Trump said
  • Mrs Clinton criticised him for saying climate change was a Chinese hoax
  • She was attacked by him for being weak on Islamic State militants and soft on Iran
  • "You've been fighting Isis [Islamic State group] your entire adult life,'' Mr Trump mocked
  • In a wider assault on his treatment of women, she said he had called women "pigs, slobs and dogs".

One key exchange was over Mr Trump's long-held belief that President Barack Obama was born outside the US, a position he finally reversed two weeks ago.

"He has a long record of engaging in racist behaviour," she said, adding that it was a "very hurtful" lie that annoyed and bothered the first African American president.

When asked by Mr Holt to explain his change in stance, he said he wanted to concentrate on bigger, more important issues.

She attacked him for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, and suggesting he "find" her emails.

"I was so shocked when Donald publicly invited Putin to hack into Americans. That is just unacceptable... Donald is unfit to be commander-in-chief."

The debate was the first of three between the two candidates, and the American voters go to the polls on 8 November.

Watch full debate (via digg)

So who did best? Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Donald Trump is the consummate salesman. Rules, tradition, even the truth are only relevant in so much as they help seal the deal.

The weaknesses of this approach is the perception that the salesman is all talk and no substance - a problem that can be exacerbated by 90 minutes under the debate spotlight.

In the end, the lawyerly preparations paid off for Mrs Clinton as she controlled the evening with forensic precision.

While Trump had a strategy - and pursued it on occasion - he was often blown off course by the former secretary of state and torpedoed by his own sometimes badgering performance.

While Mrs Clinton was occasionally prone to know-it-all-ness - particularly in her repeated appeals to outside fact-checkers - she largely maintained the upper hand.

More from Anthony

What do the polls say?

A CNN/ORC poll taken after the debate found that 62% of voters who had watched the head-to-head thought that Mrs Clinton came out on top, with just 27% giving it to Mr Trump.

This is based on interviews with 521 registered voters chosen as part of a random national sample. But only 26% identified themselves as Republicans while 41% identified themselves as Democrats.

An informal CNBC poll on its website found that 61% of people thought that Mr Trump won while 39% went for Mrs Clinton, but as CNBC itself points out, the poll is not scientific - anyone, including people outside the US, appears to be able to vote.

A post-debate survey by Public Policy Polling of 1,002 debate-watchers found that 51% of national voters thought Mrs Clinton had won, with 40% choosing Mr Trump and 9% undecided.

The US media view

New York Times - The editorial board was unimpressed with the debate, saying "when just one candidate is serious and the other is a vacuous bully, the term loses all meaning". Opinion writer Nick Kristof said Trump had "hurt himself", others said Mrs Clinton had "crushed" her opponent.

Washington Post - Writers unanimously called it for Mrs Clinton, saying Mr Trump had "bombed on the ultimate reality show" and "did not appear ready to be president".

Fox News - Pundits said Mr Trump had "struggled", "never took control" and "failed to exploit" the issue around Mrs Clinton's emails. "It helps to be prepared," one writer told the Republican candidate.

LA Times - Its panel of three commentators had Mrs Clinton winning every round. "Politics is harder than it seems, and Trump found that out tonight," said one. "Clinton was unflappable... and probably likeable enough," said another.

Breitbart - Writers at the hard-right news website said Mr Trump had "bludgeoned" Mrs Clinton on trade and accused debate moderator Lester Holt of "shilling" for Mrs Clinton. Some 75% of readers said Mr Trump had won.

The Hill - Pundits consulted by the Washington politics website said Mrs Clinton had won, but in a poll its readers called it for Mr Trump.

New York Daily News - The tabloid's verdict: "A grumpy loser! Trump pesters, interrupts Hillary throughout debate - but Clinton gets the last laugh."

US media verdict on debate

And the fact-checkers?

The much-vaunted role of fact-checkers in this debate was perhaps not as central as many expected it to be.

Mrs Clinton's denial that she had called the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership the "gold standard" of trade agreements was called out by fact-checkers, as was Mr Trump's denial that he had called calling climate change a hoax invented by the Chinese.

Reality Check: Clinton v Trump debate

Was Trump guilty of 'mansplaining?'

Mr Trump is said to have interrupted Mrs Clinton three times as many times as she interrupted him during the debate, leading to accusations that the Republican was engaging in sexist behaviour by attempting to assert male dominance.

Role of gender in the debate

How did the moderator do?

Mr Trump initially told CNN that Lester Holt had done "a great job" and his questions were "very fair", but the Republican nominee did complain in a tweet that nothing had come up during the debate about issues on which Mrs Clinton is perceived to be weak.

Later, speaking on Fox News, he went on the attack: "He didn't ask her about a lot of things he should have asked her about... Why, I don't know."

When asked if he felt Holt had veered a little too far "into the left lane", he replied: "More than a little."

Former New York Mayor and Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani said Holt should be "ashamed of himself", and Fox media pundit Howard Kurtz accused him of anti-Trump bias.

Profile: Who is moderator Lester Holt?

More on the election

Who's ahead in the polls?

A-Z guide to political jargon

Full election coverage

  • Published in World

Four-way debate suggests little change to Spain’s post-election landscape

Podemos continues to reach out to Socialists, while acting prime minister Rajoy repeats call for government of national unity.

The economic policies and corruption scandals of the eight years of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s administration came under a sustained three-pronged attack during Monday evening’s televised debate between the leaders of Spain’s four main parties.

Reflecting the political shift Spain has undergone in recent years, the debate was the first to put Podemos and Ciudadanos on the same footing as the Popular Party (PP) and the Socialists (PSOE), who between them have dominated politics for the last four decades.

Over the course of the two-hour exchange, which will be the only four-way debate in the run-up to the June 26 elections, Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Iglesias of Unidos Podemos and Albert Rivera of Ciudadanos spent most of their time criticizing Rajoy’s austerity policies and his government’s failure to kickstart Spain’s economy after two terms in office.

They also highlighted the numerous corruption cases that have rocked the PP in recent years.

Rajoy defended his record, saying: “To govern is difficult, to preach is easy.”

Rajoy insisted that as the party likely to win the most votes is the PP, he should be allowed to form a government

The four leaders each blamed one another for their failure to reach agreement on a coalition government in the six months since the inconclusive elections of December 20, which gave the PP a narrow lead, but insufficient to form a government on its own.

Sánchez highlighted Podemos’s decision to side with the PP in Congress by voting against an attempt by the Socialists and the center-right Ciudadanos to form a government.

Iglesias was careful to avoid direct confrontation with Sánchez, instead calling on the Socialist leader to team up with Unidos Podemos (United We Can), a coalition with the Communist Party -led United Left. “There are only two options: the PP or a progressive government,” he said.

Opinion polls indicate that the June 26 elections will be a replay of December’s. A survey by Metroscopia, published in EL PAÍS on Sunday, shows the PP will likely win 28.9% of the vote, with the Socialists taking 20.8% and Ciudadanos 15.9%. Unidos Podemos is forecast to win 25.4%.

The four leaders pledged to do everything possible to avoid a repeat of the impasse of the last six months. “There will be no further elections,” said Iglesias, reaching out to the Socialists. Rivera said he would support “a government of change”, without going into further details. Sánchez said he would be mobilizing support among his party’s grassroots, while Rajoy insisted that as the party likely to win the most votes is the PP, he should be allowed to form a government, calling on Ciudadanos and the Socialists to form an administration of national unity.

Iglesias repeated his formula of a broad-left government with the Socialists that would install as prime minister the leader whose party garnered most votes. But Sánchez is unlikely to tolerate playing second fiddle to Iglesias in any future administration.

  • Published in World

Sanders Challenges Trump to a Debate

Washington, May 27 (Prensa Latina) Bernie Sanders, who is running for Democratic party candidateship, has challenged Donald Trump to participate in a debate and expressed hope he would not shy away and reject the possibility.

  • Published in World
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