By Pedro Campos
HAVANA TIMES – “The dreamed of, possible, and future Cuba: proposals for our immediate future”, a document that has recently been circulated by the Casa Cuba Laboratory, affiliated with the magazine “Espacio Laical”, constitutes an important contribution to the national debate on the Cuba that many of us hope to see.
The 23 points that it contains constitute a broad but also precise representation of a variety of topics and issues related to legality and citizens’ rights; issues that concern a large portion of Cubans from all parts of the national political spectrum.
Among the topics it touches on are: the rule of law; freedom of expression and association; political pluralism; local autonomy; elimination from the penal code of absurd and discriminatory sanctions; the separation of powers; direct citizen involvement in participatory budgets; free, direct and secret general elections; the revocability of all public positions; the ratification of laws by referendum; university autonomy; economic freedom; equitable guarantees for the participation of the Cuban diaspora in national life, and the definitive intervention of the people in the constitutional precepts.
The suggestions are founded on the recognition of democracy and human rights as universal values outside of any particular socio-economic system, and on the concrete and objective necessities of Cuban reality with the aim of advancing to a more superior society in every order.
“Cuba is living in a changing age:” that’s how the Casa Cuba laboratory’s presentation begins, and rightly so. Not only because we are living in a changing age internationally as well, but also because concretely, despite all of the bureaucratic snarls and brakes that persist, the country is already living through a transition from the old socioeconomic model of a centrist State towards another that many different currents want to see, each in their own way, and which will clearly lead to a different result.
This is true not only because the party and government have initiated some modifications – which many consider insufficient – to their traditional policies, but also because in the whole of Cuban society including many different ideological and political positions, there is an ever more predominant awareness of the need to leave behind the old and failed economic, political and social model of “state socialism.”
This effort, carried out by a group of distinguished intellectuals, aims to create favorable conditions for making visible the different existing visions of a future Cuba, These can then cross-pollinate, combine or cohabit so that the new Cuba that we all must forge can develop in peace, democracy and respect for the rights of all, without exclusions or extremisms.
That dreamt-of “with all and for the good of all” that is recognized in our current Constitution.
From the platform of Participative and Democratic Socialism, we have written many times that there is no socialism without democracy, without respect for all the rights of all, without the broadest participation of the citizenry in the decisions that affect them.
This document is fully concordant with those positions. Other specific objectives of our proposals have no reason to be included.
I welcome this document. I congratulate the promoters and those who drafted it for its depth and the respect for all with which its ideas are expressed. I hope that it is received by all segments of Cuban society with the consideration that it deserves.