Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

Havana, September 21 (EFE) .- Cuba adopted a legislative package including same-sex marriage and surrogacy in a referendum this Sunday in an unusual, controversial vote with an uncertain result.

The exercise aims to end a process of the year. It began with the elaboration of the 2019 Constitution and culminated this July with the approval of the twenty-fifth edition of the Family Code in the National Assembly (unicameral parliament), after three months of popular consultation and 79,000 meetings with citizens of neighborhoods and municipalities. .

The text, which replaces a 1975 regulation, contemplates marriage between people of the same sex and the possibility of their adoption, regulates “consanguineous” pregnancy, parents’ responsibilities with their children and care of the elderly, addresses marriage and gender-based violence in addition to banning children.

The Cuban government and all state structures are leaning towards the “Yes” campaign, including the National Electoral Commission (CEN) and the Supreme Court, with continuous messages for weeks in the official media and social networks.

Marilla Castro, director of the National Center for Sexual Education of Cuba (CENESEX), in Havana (Cuba) speaking to If. EFE / Yander Zamora

They argue that the code meets the current reality of Cuban families, expanding rights and better protecting minors, the elderly, disabled persons and vulnerable groups.

The director of the National Center for Sex Education (Sensex), Marilla Castro, emphasized in a statement to IFEC that the code responds to an “expansion of rights” in the area of ​​family law.

«The Family Code contributes, expands and contributes to comprehensively guaranteeing the rights of all people and all families. It contributes to further democratization of inter-gender, inter-generational relations”, he assured.

Arguments for “no”.

“No”, for its part, had no clear campaign or presence in the official media. On social networks, activists and some institutions and groups advocated abstaining from or rejecting the law.

His opposition sometimes rejected content, and in particular that homosexuals could marry and adopt. This is the case of the Catholic Church, which recently criticized these points in a statement to the Episcopal Conference and asked to vote “with conscience”.

But rejection is also political. Opponents, dissidents and activists assure that they will abstain or vote against because they feel that a “yes” legitimizes a communist political system with which they disagree.

Dissident and former Cuban political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque explained to Ife that if she could vote — her civil rights suspended because of a conviction — she would choose to abstain.

“I’m not in favor of yes or no, or anything, because I know dictatorship, I know how it works and I’m sure that at this point we already know what the result of this referendum is going to be,” he maintained.

Independent journalist Maria Matienzo also considers that the best option is to abstain, as she understands that the referendum has the nature of a referendum and is inclusive of the LGBTIQ community.

“Civil rights are not more important than others. I have no rights as a citizen except that I am allowed to marry,” Matienzo told Ife, who missed an “apology” from the government for his gay past in the revolution.

For his part, Cuban independent journalist Mikel González Vivero explained that he would vote “yes” in line with his years of LGBTIQ activism.

“I am going to vote yes, although I have many criticisms of the government, there are (…) many objections to the process. But since this is the context and we are forced to say yes or no, I have no choice but to say yes. We have been working for these rights for a long time,” he said in an interview with Efe.

A section of the group criticized the fact that minority rights were submitted to a referendum, while other laws—including the new penal code—did not go through this process. Another criticism is that the vote took place after the Family Code was published in the Official Gazette this August.

People interviewed by Efe assured that they will vote or abstain against the management of the serious crisis the country is going through, which has dragged on for two years due to shortages of basic goods, long queues, frequent blackouts and high inflation.

Survey, abstinence and preparation

Four days before a popular referendum on a new family code in Havana (Cuba), some women with a child hail a taxi on the street. EFE/ Yander Zamora

However, in the absence of a referendum, it is difficult to assess the strength of each camp ahead of the referendum, the third held in Cuba since the victory of the revolution in 1959 and the first on a specific law.

Experts do not dare to predict the extent of the break and its possible meaning in terms of political misunderstandings or rejection of the process.

CEN ensures that everything is prepared for the proper development of the consultation. More than 8 million Cubans were called to vote at nearly 24,000 polling stations.

Cubans who have emigrated or gone into exile and do not have a residence in Cuba — a group that adds up to an estimated two million people — are not eligible to participate.

Some NGOs have raised doubts raised by the consultation, such as in the area of ​​electoral transparency.

Its director, Leandro Querido, criticized in an interview with Efe that it has been a campaign without “guarantees”, that there are no international observers on election day and that without “cross control” the results will be “unpredictable”.

Web Editing: Sebastian Bayona

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.