26 February, 2019 04:16

The true results of the Referendum to support the new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, held on February 24, must have demonstrated to the "government of continuity" that the population is daring to express its discontent over the perpetually escalating economic, political and social crisis . The official release of lower than traditional figures shows that the turnout and the YES dropped considerably.

The Constitution was approved with 86.85% YES = 6 816 169 votes; 706 400 votes NO (9%).
7,522,559 ballots were valid, 127,000 canceled and 198,674 were left blank.

84.4% of the 7,848,343 potential voters attended the referendum, according to the preliminary results announced by Alina Balseiro Gutierrez, president of the National Electoral Commission of Cuba, at a press conference on Monday, the 25th.

In 1976.
Fidel Castro announced with great fanfare that the Constitution of 1976 had been ratified by 99.02% of the voters, in an attendance of 98%, and only 54,000 negative votes.
During 60 years, Cubans have attended meetings and rallies due to the compulsion of the authorities for decades, exercised in their neighborhoods and workplaces by the Committees of Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the political organizations, such as the Communist Party, the University Student Federation (FEU) and the Central de Trabajadores de Cuba (CTC); the alleged non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Uneac of artists and writers, UPEC of journalists and the Anec de economistas. Simultaneously pressure is exerted by informants and the repression through the various entities of the Ministry of the Interior.

Raul Castro drafted the new Constitution for several years with his commission. However, he could not enforce its approval by the National Assembly before the elections in March 2018, with the changes sponsored by him, such as the limitation to two five-year terms in ruling positions, before leaving as president of the Councils of State and of Ministers, because of the silent rejection of the so called historical leaders and the burocracy to step aside. That would have facilitated his selected successor and team to function with less pressure from the old guard.

The General enforced that a single party (the communist), irrevocable socialism, state property and economic planning could not be modified, regardless of Cubans’ opinions during the meetings he called to speak out, that were staged as "socialist democracy". In fact, none of the fundamental issues raised by the population were included. Cubans dared to take advantage of the government’s simulation of broad participation in drafting of a "modern constitution", to express their disagreements and demands, such as election of the president, low salaries and lack of housing.

The laws and regulations complementary to this Constitution must be passed in a term of no more than 2 years, although they have been drafted simultaneously so that some may enter into force as soon as possible, have expressed senior officials Marino Murillo and Homero Acosta. The legislation linked to the Magna Carta, will reflect the image and likeness of the recycled Castrism.

Florida, February 25, 2019

Miriam Leiva, Independent Journalist

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