Díaz-Canel: The revolutionary government has a duty to the people

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, claimed that the revolutionary government has a duty to the people, on the occasion of his government visit to Pinar del Rio province, in which productive and educational sectors have been key for its development.

He highlighted the franc exchange with the local population, which has stated deficiencies, especially in transportation, aqueduct and housing.

During his visit to the “Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca” University of Pinar del Rio, the president specified that the government hopes to continue this type of systematic contact to help “unblock” problems.

Accompanied in his tours by members of the Council of Ministers, the head of state stressed on the importance to organize and plan the work better geared at resolving difficulties and dissatisfactions in a shorter term, and referred to the existing talent among the population to face the problems.

He explained that this type of work allows each ministry to work more closely with territorial authorities, and thus, to strengthen the relation between the central government and the provinces.

On Wednesday night, Díaz-Canel participated in the debate of the Draft Constitution held in the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) 3 and 9 of Constituency 175, in “Hermanos Cruz” Popular Council, in the city of Pinar del Rio, where he highlighted the respect for every citizen’s opinions in the process of dialogues at all levels.

The president referred there have been much wisdom whenever an article is discussed, especially thinking on “what we are going to leave young people”.

“We’re contributing to the way in which we should implement the Constitution and the scope of the future laws”, stated Díaz-Canel at the meeting characterized by the franc exchange among people of all ages, a demonstration of the interest of the population to see its suggestions reflected on the Magna Carta.

Some 7,780 meetings are scheduled in this Cuba’s westernmost province, since so far 936 have been held, and according to official data, the most recurring approaches have dealt with marriage and the president’s term of office.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Cuba debates constitutional reform: Although it is not the heart of the matter

Marriage between people of the same sex and not only between man and woman, still promotes debates, together with other defining issues in the constitutional draft all Cubans are debating today.

In the last few days, at least via journalistic reports mainly from the TV, the topic of the marriage between people -without specifying man and woman- seems to be generating less criteria than at the beginning of the debates of the draft Constitution in which all Cubans are participating.

Nevertheless, in late August, PhD Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) stated her opinion on the social media about that article 68 of the draft Constitution, which defines marriage as the unity agreement between two people without clarifying their sex.

“Cuba has been criticized for falling to progress enough in its legislative agenda to protect the rights of LGBT people. The political will to move forward in these topics is expressed in the new constitutional draft. “Now, those who oppose our country vision try to mix up and feed prejudices and ignorance to sabotage this transcendental process. The draft constitution far exceeds the current document.

“Marriage is a right that cannot be denied to LGBT people, not only because it is discriminatory but also for its negative political consequences and contrary to the emancipating spirit of the Revolution. Obviously, our people need more information and arguments. We should be more active in the media. Let us not be wrong again, because ingenuities are paid with high prices”.

Thus warned on Facebook the also deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament). And her message quickly went viral generating criteria for and against.

Among those endorsers of what Mariela said, Michel Mesa Pulido commented: “I know this a very strong issue for a purely macho society but let us give all the people the opportunity to unite with those they deem appropriate, the important thing is to be happy and to contribute to make this society greater, it does not matter whether marriage is equal or unequal, the human being is the important thing”.

For his part, Rafael Suárez Suárez recalled that “everything changes; earlier it was considered improper for a woman to work, to be a leader, for a man to collaborate in the household chores, for a woman to earn more money than a man, for a white man to marry a black woman. What should really exist is the right to choose, that they all can get married or not, because there may have gays who do not want to do it, but by choice, not by impediment, that law does not harm your rights at all, you marry whomever you wish, let others live their life with the same freedom as you live yours”.

The Cenesex director widened what this cybernaut said: “It was also deemed improper for women, dark skinned people, elderly people or with disabilities, sick people, countryside people or poor people to have the same rights. Marriage and family concepts were created according to dominant interests without respecting human realities much more varied than those imposed. As humanity progresses in the achievement of its rights, these concepts evolve and are more inclusive and fairer. No matter whether you like it or not, understand it or not, we are born with rights and states have the responsibility to protect them. That’s the main role of the constitution and its reform”.

Everybody does not favor this type of unities, among them, José Luis Mosqueda, who clearly and concisely states his criterion: “…with all the respect that this staff deserves, I do not agree with the fact that two men or two women can marry, that was always deemed improper and I still deem it the same. Greetings”.

I find interesting the message posted on FB by Rogelio Collado, who considers that “one should not count on these prejudices when deciding on people’s rights. I do not get tired repeating that if we had waited to eradicate racism and chauvinism so the rights of black people and women were respected in Cuba, there would still exist schools for blacks and women wouldn’t be strongly represented in all spheres of the national life. The constitutional process is very good, but I still believe that the topics relating to the human rights of any social group should not depend on the opinion of the majority, all the more so when it is about the rights of a so-called ‘minority’. A lot has been done as regards sex education and respect for diversity in the last few years and that’s commendable, but we should not be over-confident, prejudices are deeply rooted in our society”.

Further ahead, the same forum member José Luis Mosqueda added new arguments: “We are not talking about the same topic, the rights of people, women, men, either black or white, to live together and to share those rights as it has been done in Cuba since the triumph of the Revolution is one thing, and another is that men marry men and women marry women, that is not natural, no matter who states it”.

After thanking all the posted criteria, for and against, Mariela Castro pointed out as a summary: “In order to continue doing revolution and to achieve a fairer society, we should move forward in these topics. It is not fair that heterosexual couples can opt for marriage and that at the same time other couples are denied this right. Marriage has different ends; the weighing of its reproductive aim was imposed in the Middle Ages. Read on the evolution of family and marriage as social institutions”.

On Monday, August 13, there kicked off in Cuba the popular consultation of the new draft Constitution, which includes transcendental newnesses, among them, in the bodies of higher leadership, such as the comeback of the figures of President of the Republic and Prime Minister, as well as the Council of State and the National Assembly of People’s under the same direction.

This process of massive consultation will come to an end on November 15, and all criteria will be sent to the National Assembly for the drafting of the Magna Carta that will be subject to an approving referendum.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Cuban Resident in US Satisfied with Commenting on Draft Constitution

Damian Diaz, a Cuban resident in the US city of Miami, Florida, described as very significant the opportunity that people like him have to suggest their criteria on the new Draft Constitution of his country.

Those who live in other nations do not stop being Cuban and having this possibility to express our opinions is a clear sign of the confidence and recognition of our emigration, Diaz told Prensa Latina.

He noted that the Draft Constitution covers Cuban society, and echoed the statement that Cuba is a socialist, democratic, independent and sovereign State of law, organized under the premise expressed by National Hero Jose Marti (1853-1895), 'with all and for everybody's wellbeing'.

That way, the foundations for the continuity of our nation are laid, said Diaz, who is also the president of Alianza Martiana, which groups several organizations of Cuban émigrés in Miami

Diaz assured that the Draft Constitution is in tune with Cuba's reality and reflects the thought of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), regarding changing everything that has to be changed.

On the other hand, Diaz noted the importance that the new Constitution will prioritize foreign investment by Cubans living abroad and will define a single currency. On July 22, the People's Power National Assembly approved the Draft Constitution, which will be submitted to popular consultation until November 15, as part of a process that started on August 13.

For overseas Cubans, the opportunity to express their opinions on the document began on August 31, after the necessary technical conditions were created.

They can comment on the Draft Constitution on a section on the website Nation and Emigration of the Cuban Foreign Ministry (http://www.nacionyemigracion.cu).

Cuban residents abroad have the opportunity to contribute to the development of a socialist and democratic society, led by premises like humanism and solidarity, according to Ernesto Soberon, director of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad at the Foreign Ministry.

Of an estimate of 1.4 million Cubans who live in some 120 countries, only a minority favors the destruction of the Revolution and the return to capitalism as established before 1959, Soberon told reporters in Havana in early August.

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Cuba Recognizes Relevance of Constitutional Consultation

Havana, Aug 24 (Prensa Latina) The popular consultation on the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, begun last week, is drawing favorable opinions, in general, from the island's inhabitants.

According to Rigoberto Ladron de Guevara, director of Plaza municipality in Aguas de La Habana company, although there are certainly exceptions, the people have participated massively up to now.

We see the willingness of people to express criteria, proposals and solutions so that the new Constitution represents everyday life. It is, without a doubt, a unique democratic exercise, and we trust that we together will be capable of proposing a more adequate Constitution, he told Prensa Latina.

The process itself is very interesting, as the State needs that all its citizens express themselves, not only in terms of reflection and modifications, but also on the essence of the Constitution, he added.

According to Ladron de Guevara, there are many issues in the State and the functioning of the Cuban socialist system that require changes to achieve greater efficiency and adjust it to the country's circumstances.

Rigoberto Ladron de Guevara participated in the debate held yesterday in the Aguas de la Habana company, where the suggestions turned, essentially, around the economic foundations of the nation and the structure of the State.

About 135,000 meetings of this kind are scheduled in Cuba. The criteria provided by the citizens will return to the National Assembly for the drawing up of a Constitution that, if a popular referendum is approved, it will replace the one in force since 1976.

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Cuban President Calls to Socialize Draft Constitution

Havana, Jul 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel today called to socialize the Draft Constitution, so that the people, who will participate in a consult from August 13 to November 15, can get familiar with the text.

'It depends on us, on the educational and training institutions, that the new work will serve for children and youths to research the history of the constitutions,' the president called at the closing of the first ordinary session of the 9th Legislature of the People's Power National Assembly.

After several days of individual study and plenary debates, Cuban lawmakers approved the Draft Constitution today.

In that regard, Diaz-Canel favored the facilitation of knowledge about the fundamental law by all components of Cuban society in order to corroborate the principles of patriotism that the people have upheld for more than 150 years, despite economic difficulties.

The Cuban president added that a proposal to make up the Council of Ministers was presented, of which more than 30 percent was renovated.

Diaz-Canel noted the continuity of officials with high merits in their work and the promotion of new leaders, which shows the link between experience and the rejuvenation that characterizes that leading body.

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