Changes are happening in Cuba. Last year, after nearly sixty years of leadership by the Castro brothers (first Fidel and then Raúl), Cuba’s National Assembly voted 603-1 for Miguel Diaz-Canel to take over for Raúl Castro. And earlier this week, the people of Cuba overwhelmingly voted for a new constitution. Nope, not amendments to the existing constitution, but a brand new constitution! Fascinating, right? But to the eighty-seven percent of the 7.8 million people who voted, it was time to replace an outdated constitution that was crafted in 1976 under a communist dictatorship. This new constitution will protect investments and property ownership, as well as provide a cap for how long a president could serve in office. A new president and a new constitution sounds promising, doesn’t it? But some question whether these changes are in fact positive. After all, the Cuban government didn’t allow for much propaganda against a vote for the new constitution, and the Communist party is still the only party allowed in Cuba. What’s perhaps even more interesting? For a Communist-ruled island, 700,000 people voted against the new constitution. In comparison, ninety-eight percent voted yes to the constitution that was enacted in 1976. Only time will tell if the new constitution creates more positive changes for the people of Cuba.
If you had the chance to share your thoughts on what should be in a constitution, what would you suggest?