If time has ever taught us anything, it’s to appreciate subtleties. The draft Constitution, which the Cuban government is pushing forward, is full of these.
There’s no doubt that this draft involves more than one positive thing, when it comes to giving a legal framework to the country’s government. Let’s say that it does open up a greater space in national life for different forms of property, which is a basic requirement (although not enough alone) for freedom and democracy, it is proposing decentralized changes for the political and administrative system and it is opening up new spaces so that minority groups have their rights recognized, like what is happening in the case of same-sex marriage.
It’s an incomplete document, but it’s enough to notice its streak of positive changes and to understand that many Cubans (both on and off the island) are willing to give their opinions and suggestions to a committee that is responsible for drawing up the final draft. This is what they mistakingly call “public debate”.
How people should vote in this referendum is a different issue, which only Cubans living on the island have the right to do. In this case, I believe voting NO is the only reasonable way to vote. Because, even though it does include the above-mentioned positive streaks of change, the Constitution still holds onto several negative cornerstones which do away with any ounce of democracy and freedom in Cuba and stand in the way of national society’s development. And meanwhile, they lead to serious exclusions of social and political groups.