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CADAL’s Support to the Constitutional Consensus in Cuba
March 4, 2014
Among the initiatives that CADAL’s Puente Democrático Program has been developing in favor of political opening in Cuba, those that stand out are the contributions about the country’s institutions in the context of democratic transition. One of these was the publication of the book “Elementos de Teoría Constitucional: una propuesta para Cuba” by jurist Ricardo M. Rojas, and the proposal by the analyst Aleardo Laría on the adoption of a parliamentary system.
 

Among the initiatives that CADAL’s Puente Democrático Program has been developing in favor of political opening in Cuba, those that stand out are the contributions about the country’s institutions in the context of democratic transition. One of these was the publication of the book “Elementos de Teoría Constitucional: una propuesta para Cuba” by jurist Ricardo M. Rojas, and the proposal by the analyst Aleardo Laría on the adoption of a parliamentary system.

Consequently, at the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL), we consider the initiative of “Constitutional Consensus in Cuba” to be quite appropriate and even necessary. The initiative is promoted on the island and is supported by a wide diversity of local and foreign groups and individuals.

In that regard, CADAL has decided to offer its institutional support to the “Constitutional Consensus in Cuba” and to collaborate in the search for regional and international support for this valuable initiative as well as its diffusion within and outside Cuba.

About the Constitutional Consensus in Cuba

The Constitutional Roadmap is a consensus proposal among different sectors of the population to create a constitutional process that responds to the diversity of interests and identities of Cuban society and that is based on their legitimacy within and outside Cuba.

The signatories below accept the Constitutional Roadmap as a common goal among the distinct organizations, people and institutions that aspire to democratic transition, in order to create a means that guarantees and enables said transition towards a democratic state based on the rule of law at the forefront, as well as democratic participation of its citizens in the definition of its future. We will work to promote an agenda which defines above all, the what in Cuban society – the democratic rules of the game – not a competition among groups to decide who will have power in the state. We believe that the first thing to decide on is the nature of power, and not those who hold it.

This Constitutional Roadmap has two channels: the debate among all of the sectors and personalities of civil society and politics, in and outside Cuba, who will contribute their ideas and proposals to a constitutional process that enables a satisfactory consensus for each sector of society, and the recollection of signatures and proposals from citizens, which has already begun as a part of the Constituent Assembly Now project.

It is evident that the debate surrounding this constitutional process will be especially intense and complex. Our rich constitutional tradition is feeding the controversy between those who believe in the restoration of the paradigmatic constitution of 1940, those who advocate for reform of the current constitution and those who support the creation of a new Magna Carta. However, the distinguishing characteristic of the consensus is debate. It must be carried out maturely, respectfully and with a sense of responsibility and inclusion, keeping in mind that a constitutional debate should be a positive sum game; this is the challenge that all Cubans must face. We can start by recovering the Constituent spirit of 1940, which is expressed in the following slogan: Cuba first, political parties last. Whatever the consensus that we arrive at may be, we understand that in the end, that which legitimizes the citizens shall prevail.

To supplement the debate we will establish a website to stockpile information, experiences and reports produced or in process. This will allow the citizens with access to present or comment on the proposals, and if they support the project, to become a signatory.

Additionally, we will organize for the end of May, 2014, five encounters between Cubans in five cities with big Cuban populations: Havana, Cuba; Miami and New Jersey, United States; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Madrid, Spain. The title of the encounter will be: Cuba: Key Constitutional Change.

These encounters are intended to be an initial step in the construction of the consensus. The agenda will focus exclusively on two topics:

First Topic: Where to start the constitutional consensus? This topic seeks to establish a creative exchange among the distinct visions of the future constitutional process in Cuba: The restorers, the reformers and those in favor of a new constitution.

Second Topic: The role and participation of Cubans that live or reside overseas in the future democratic state. This topic has three considerations: a state is democratic if all of its nationals participate in it, independent of where they live; due to political reasons, Cuba has become a transnational nation; the Cubans that live or reside overseas make up one of the basic pillars of the Cuban economy. The conclusions and participatory methodology of these encounters will be made public afterward.

Cuba can. The experience strengthens the conviction that without a firm idea and a clear vision of the goals, change is not necessarily better. The Constitutional Roadmap, which is a part of the Latin American movement for constitutional change, has the potential to be one of those firm goals, which will prove necessary in order to attain a solid democratic state based on the rule of law in Cuba.

Organizations and Institutions that Adhere to the Constitutional Consensus

Cuba

Instituto PATMOS, Partido Arco Progresista, Proyecto Demócrata Cubano, Partido Nacional Liberal Cubano, Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial, Observatorio de Derechos Humanos, Pastores por el Cambio, Partido Popular Republicano, Partido Revolucionario Cubano, Partido Solidaridad Democrática,

Partido Liberal Ortodoxo, Movimiento Liberal Cubano, Federación Latinoamericana de Mujeres Rurales, Partido del Pueblo-Arco Progresista, Plataforma Femenina Nuevo País, Acetato Producciones, Asociación Jurídica Cubana, Club de Escritores de Cuba,

Centro de Publicidad y Marketing, Red de Bibliotecas Cívicas, Proyecto Cuba Exige,

Alianza Democrática Oriental, Confederación de Trabajadores Independientes, Sindicato Independiente Trabajadores por Cuentapropia, Sindicato Independiente, Trabajadores Gastronomía, Sindicato Trabajadores Zapateros Independiente, Sindicato Independiente Trabajadores del Comercio, Sindicato de Costureras Independiente,

Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos José Martí, FANTU-UNPACU, Alianza Arcoíris Libre de Cuba (LGBT), Shui Tuix (LGBT), Centro de Apoyo para la Transición, Movimiento Opositores por una Nueva República, Juventud Activa Cuba Unida y Asociación de ex Presos Políticos.

United States

Coordinadora Social Demócrata de Cuba, Partido Revolucionario Cubano (Auténtico), Partido Liberal Cubano, Partido Autentico Nacionalista, Proyecto Cuba, Federación Mundial de Ex-Presos Políticos, Asociación de Músicos Libres en el Exilio, Conciencia Cívica, Plataforma de Integración Cubana

Venezuela

Solidaridad de Trabajadores Cubanos

Puerto Rico

Cubanos Unidos de Puerto Rico

Spain

Asociación de iberoamericanos para la libertad, Plataforma Cuba Democracia Ya, Asociación Damas de Blanco Madrid, Asociación de Empresarios Cubano Española, Asociación Cubano Española de Derecho, Federación Española de Asociaciones Cubanas, Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos.

Personas Públicas que adhieren al Consenso Constitucional

(Artistas, intelectuales, publicistas y otros)

Individuals who adhere to the Constitutional Congress

(Artists, intellectuals, publicists, among others)

Cuba

Iván Hernández Carrillo, Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, Elizardo Sánchez, Santacruz, Fernando Sánchez López, Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Leonardo Calvo Cárdenas, Juan A. Madrazo Luna, Fernando Palacios Mogar, Rafael Léon, Mario Félix Lleonart, Yoaxis Marcheco Suárez, Amador Blanco Hernández, Lilianne Ruis Ondarcio, Wilfredo Vallín Almeida, Víctor Domínguez García, Jorge Olivera Castillo, Julio Aleaga Pesant, Manuel Alberto Morejón Soler, Veizant Boloy González, Gloria Llopis Prendes, Eroisis González Suárez, Miguel Santana Breffe, Roberto Rodríguez Vázquez, Lilvio Fernández, Raúl Risco, Pedro Campos y Minaldo Ramos Salgado.

Canada

Juan Antonio Blanco Gil.

Spain

Blanca Reyes, Elena Larrinaga, Alejandro González Raga y Rigoberto Carceller.

United States

Marifeli Pérez-Stable, Enrique Patterson, Eusebio Mujal-León, Ramón Colas, Darsi Ferret Ramírez, Andrés Alburquerque, Claudia del Río, Arnoldo Muller, Jorge del Río, León Del Valle, Silvio Mancha, Pedro Corzo, Nicolás Pérez, Carlos M.de Varona, Carmen De Toro, Luis Espino, Héctor Carbonell, Nelson Rodríguez Diéguez, Vicente Rodríguez, Eladio José Armesto, Silvio Benítez, Saturnino Polón, Mickey Garrote, Raúl Pintado, Manuel Jiménez, Ramiro Gómez Barrueco, Pedro López, Luis Fernández Moreno, Juan Escandell Ramírez, Pedro Fuentes-Cid, Armando Añel, Manuel Gayol Mecías, Ángel Velázquez Callejas y Idabell Rosales.

Mexico

Marlene Azor Hernández y Armando Chaguaceda Noriega.

Panama

Manuel Castro Rodríguez

Dominican Republic

Haroldo Dilla Alfonso.

For more information: http://consensoconstitucional.com/