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