By Antonio Recio
HAVANA TIMES – There are major changes that appear in the new draft Constitution (now in its popular consultation phase), which make it seem modern, keeping up with changes in Cuban society and other expressions to hide what it really is.
In fact, using same-sex marriage, the recognition of private property and the disappearance of the word “Communism” is nothing but a trap; hiding their intention to keep Cuban citizens subjected to a single political option, the Communist Party.
Article 40, which refers to the right to be treated equally, now includes factors such as “gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic origin and disability” which bans discrimination based on any of these as well as those that already exist in Article 42 such as discrimination based on race, color of the skin, sex, national origin, religious creeds. However, there is still no ban on discrimination for political reasons, which leads us to think that it will continue to be a reason for discrimination on the island, now and in the future.
Hidden behind this air of “modernity and tolerance” that the new draft Constitution wants to give off, which is currently being debated and which the Government hopes to pass, there are three big traps.
(1) The Cuban Communist Party (PCC) is the only party, thereby leaving only one political option for everything; (2) The eternal permanence of socialism as Cuba’s form of government and (3) Criminalizing everyone who thinks differently to the PCC.
In order to ensure the first point, we have to realize that the Party remains outside of the Constitution’s legal limits, unlike other countries in the world where it should also be subject to the supreme power the Constitution should hold.
The PCC is not only outside of the Constitution’s scope as a law, the Party doesn’t even owe obedience to the Armed Forces, as its powers appear completely outside of the Constitution. I would even dare to say, above it, when it declares itself the eternal guide of Cuban society, a role that really corresponds to the Constitution.
The second trap is guaranteed by the idea that socialism no longer means what its founders (Marx and Engels) defined it to be in the beginning: a system to stop men from exploiting men and to develop a system to satisfy the population’s growing needs.
Now, in the new Constitution, there is a new definition of “Cuban socialism” which doesn’t even recognize it as the path towards Communism, which is something that they have been teaching every generation of Cubans post-1960.
The third trap has laid out the most serious crime of treason to the “Socialist Homeland”, which now includes anyone who dares to suggest something different or do something differently from the PCC’s ideas. A comprehensive mechanism of government repression will exist to ensure this, such as police threats to people close to those who think differently, immediate response brigades, hate mobs, blackmail and other atrocities which increase and manipulate the hatred of others.
And in Article 3, which states the Irrevocable Nature of Socialism, phrases such as “Treason against one’s country as the most serious of crimes” appear. For that matter, citizens have the right to fight, using all means, allegedly including armed struggle, against the slightest manifestation of disobedience, rebellious behavior or difference in ideas to Cuban Socialism.
All of the points I’ve mentioned above reinforce the entire “Cuban Revolution’s” greatest attribute: intolerance. However, this time it’s being turned up to the extreme.
And to finish things off, Article 224 states that declarations about the irrevocable nature of socialism and the political system “will not be subject to reform in any case.” This is the way of stopping any attempt to reform the system in case the Cuban people so desire. This is how the government is taking control of its greatest strengths: establishing the irrevocable nature of the system, being the only political option available and criminalizing everything that differs from their interests.