Cuba: Constitutional Modificaton Bill

[June 21, 2002]

Below we print excerpts from the Constitutional Modification Bill.

THE PEOPLE OF CUBA,

a legitimate heir and upholder of the glorious traditions of struggle for the nation's liberty, independence and sovereignty whose most beautiful precedents can be found in...

the patriots that during the liberation wars of 1868 and 1895 fought for independence from Spanish colonialism but whose victory was snatched by the U.S. military intervention;

the men and women who throughout more than fifty years fought against oppression, U.S. imperialist domination, political and administrative corruption, the absence of civil rights and freedom, racism, racial discrimination, injustice, inequality and brutal repression;

those who gave their lives in the Moncada attack, in the mountains and the cities for a just, humane and honorable destiny for our people, until independence was finally attained on January 1st, 1959;

those who throughout these 43 years have sacrificed their lives in defense of the Socialist Revolution...

AWARE with the people of Cuba; therefore, it is with the people that the constitutional power of the nation rests that is expressed in the existing Constitution whose original draft was discussed and analyzed by millions of people who contributed their ideas and suggested modifications to the text submitted to them; a Constitution that was later approved in a national referendum by 97.7% of the voters through free, direct and secret ballot and proclaimed on February 24, 1976;

that the Socialist Revolution rescued Cuba from a humiliating imperialist domination and turned it into a free and independent nation founded on the close unity, the cooperation and the consensus of a learned and rebel people of brave and heroic men and women that make up the force, the government and the power of the Cuban nation, the same people who with their talents and ideas have skillfully faced up to, and defended themselves from the aggressions of the most powerful empire that the history of humanity has known;

that despite the blockade and the economic war imposed by the government of the United States of America aimed at suffocating and humiliating our people, the Cuban nation has risen to the challenge in these glorious years of the Revolution to achieve high educational, cultural and social indicators, with an illiteracy rate of 0.2%, an elementary school attendance rate of 100%, a junior high school attendance rate of 99.7%, an infant mortality rate of 6.2 per one thousand live births; with 590 doctors, 743 nurses and 630.6 hospital beds for every 100,000 people and a life expectancy at birth of 76 years...

that the great transformations that have occurred in our society after the Revolutionary victory have opened up unexpected avenues for the people's incorporation into the real leadership of a society in which they have assumed a new and always growing protagonist role. It is on these bases that new institutions and a new electoral system have emerged and are developing, as stated in the Constitution of the Republic, to ensure the democratic content of the people's active participation by recognizing that it is solely the people that have the right to chose, nominate, elect, control and recall their representatives. Moreover, they contribute to developing a participatory culture that includes debating and making decisions concerning the main problems affecting the country, channeled through the social and mass organizations as well as the Peoples Councils of which they are a part. The people's mass involvement in the elections in numbers in excess of 95%, is but an expression of their endorsement and support of the Revolution;

the crude measures of further aggression against Cuba announced by the President of the United States of America Mr. George W. Bush - encouraged by the Miami terrorist mob at the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Yankee neocolonial republic that resulted from the imperialist war that snatched freedom from the Cubans - when he stated his aspiration to overthrow the Cuban political system and destroy the work of the Revolution.

WHEREAS exercising its sovereign power and the right accorded to it in Article 3 of the Constitution to defend the established economic, social and political order; and making use of the basic right of every citizen to address petitions to the authorities, as described in Article 63 of the Constitution of the Republic;

PETITIONS the National Assembly of People's Power, the supreme body of state power that represents and expresses the sovereign will of our people:

FIRST: To ratify our peoples identification with each and everyone of the principles on which the Constitution of the Republic is founded, particularly with its Economic, Social and Political Foundations consecrated in Chapter I, underlining that:

"Cuba is an independent and sovereign socialist State of workers organized by all its people for the well-being of all, as a unitary and democratic Republic, for the enjoyment of political freedom, social justice, individual and collective well-being, and human solidarity."

SECOND: To expressly set forth the will of the people that the economic, political and social system consecrated in the Constitution of the Republic is untouchable.

THIRD: To ratify that economic, political and diplomatic relations with any other state will never be negotiated under aggression, threat or pressure from a foreign power.

FOURTH: That the above-mentioned requests, once approved by the relevant legal procedure, should be expressly included in the Constitution of the Republic, as part of its body of rules and with the clarification that they result in the annulment of any previous provision in contradiction or opposition to it.