24 February 1976

The current constitution of Cuba is formally proclaimed.

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Even before attaining its independence from Spain, Cuba had several constitutions either proposed or adopted by insurgents as governing documents for territory they controlled during their war against Spain. Cuba has had several constitutions since winning its independence. The first constitution since the Cuban Revolution was drafted in 1976 and has since been amended. In 2018, Cuba became engaged in a major revision of its Constitution, which was widely discussed by the people and by academics.[1] The current constitution was then enacted in 2019.[2][3][4][5]

Early models

Events in early nineteenth-century Spain prompted a general concern with constitutions throughout Spain's overseas possessions. In 1808, both King Ferdinand VII and his predecessor and father, Charles IV, resigned their claims to the throne in favor of Napoleon Bonaparte, who in turn passed the crown to his brother Joseph. In the ensuing Peninsular War, the Spanish waged a war of independence against the French Empire. On 19 March 1812, the Cortes Generales in refuge in Cádiz adopted the Spanish Constitution of 1812, which established a constitutional monarchy and eliminated many basic institutions that privileged some groups over others. The Cortes included representatives from throughout the Spanish Empire, including Cuba.[6]

Several models of constitutional government were proposed for Cuba.  [es] offered "a charter for Cuban autonomy under Spanish rule" in Diario de la Habana in 1810,[7] elaborated as the Project for an Autonomous Government in Cuba in 1811.[8] The next year, Bayamo attorney Joaquín Infante living in Caracas wrote his Constitutional Project for the Island of Cuba. He reconciled his liberal political principles with slavery in Cuba, noting that slavery existed in the United States alongside republican government. Spanish authorities imprisoned him for his writings.[7][8] In 1821, Félix Varela represented Cuba in the Cortes Generales of Spain during a short period when the Constitution of 1812 was revived. He joined in a petition to the Crown for the independence of Spain's Latin American colonies, supported by his Project of Instruction for the Politically and Economically Autonomous Government of the Overseas Provinces.[8]

Guáimaro Constitution

The Guáimaro Constitution was the governing document written by the idealistic and politically liberal faction in the insurgency that contested Spanish colonial rule in Cuba and imposed on Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the conservative who claimed leadership of the independence movement. It was nominally in effect from 1869 to 1878 during the Ten Years' War against Spain.

Jimaguayú Constitution

Two ad hoc constitutions were adopted in the course of Cuba's last fight for independence from Spain (1895–1898). On 16 September 1895, delegates representing the rebel forces adopted a constitution in Jimaguayu, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba in Arms,[9] and set it to be reviewed in two years by a representative assembly. It described relations between civil and military authority. It named key officials and outlined the requirements of a peace treaty with Spain. In September 1897, the assembly met in  [es], adopted a new document on 30 October, and named a new president and vice-president.[10]

La Yaya Constitution

La Yaya Constitution written in 1897 was the last Constitution before the defeat of the Spanish. The principal notable passages of this Constitution on equal civil rights, the right of suffrage and the rights governing equal education for all Cubans were written by General José Braulio Alemán Urquía. This Constitution was used as template for the 1901 Constitution.

1901 Constitution

The 1901 Constitution, was Cuba's first as an independent state. It incorporated eight principles set out in the Platt Amendment without which U.S. troops would not have been withdrawn from Cuba, including the clause that the United States has the right to intervene in Cuba's affairs to protect its independence and guarantee the stability of its government. All but one of the Platt Amendment principles remained in force until a treaty between Cuba and the United States, negotiated as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy toward Latin America, took effect on 9 June 1934, leaving U.S. only its right to a permanent lease to its Guantanamo Naval Station.[11]

1940 Constitution

During the presidency of Federico Laredo Brú, a Constitutional Assembly was elected in November 1939 to write a new constitution. The Assembly debated publicly for six months and adopted the constitution at the Capitol in Havana. It was signed by the delegates on 1 July 1940, and took effect on 10 October 1940.[12] It provided for land reform, public education, universal healthcare, minimum wage and other progressive ideas, many of which were not implemented in practice. The Constitution abolished capital punishment and established as national policy restrictions on the size of land holdings and an end to common ownership of sugar plantations and sugar mills, but these principles were never translated into legislation. The constitution ordained a presidency and a bicameral congress, both with a four-year tenure, with a ban on direct re-elections to the office of president (though non-consecutive re-election would be tolerated; similar to the current constitution of Chile) with executive power shared with a new, separate office of Prime Minister of Cuba, to be nominated by the president.[13] Fulgencio Batista suspended parts of this constitution after seizing power in 1952. It was completely suspended after the Cuban revolution.

1976 Constitution

14 February 1976 edition of Granma reading "Everybody to vote tomorrow for the socialist constitution."

After 16 years of non-constitutional government from 1959 to 1975, the revolutionary government of Cuba sought to institutionalize the revolution by putting a new constitution to a popular vote. The Constitution of 1976, modeled after the 1936 Soviet Constitution, was adopted by referendum on 15 February 1976, in which it was approved by 99.02% of voters, in a 98% turnout.[14][15] It took effect on 24 February 1976. This constitution called for a centralized control of the market and re-committed the state to providing its citizens with access to free education and health care, as in the 1940 constitution. Article 53 gave citizens freedom of speech, and Article 54 gave citizens the right to assemble. In practice, the state paid little attention to these rights.[citation needed] The state was further granted the power to regulate the activities of religious institutions and the private ownership of media was prohibited.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc plunged Cuba into an era of economic crisis known as the Special Period in Time of Peace. In response, the constitution was amended in 1992 to remove certain limitations on foreign investment and grant foreign corporations a limited right to own property on the island if they established joint ventures with the government.[16] Another amendment established that Cuba is a secular state rather than an atheist state, prompting an expansion of local participation in religious observance, increased social service work on the part of sectarian international charities, and public recognition of religious pluralism.[17] In 2002, the constitution was amended to stipulate that the socialistic system was permanent and irrevocable.[18]

2019 Constitution

On 14 July 2018, a Communist Party task force drafted a new constitutional text, then given to a National Assembly commission headed by Party First Secretary Raúl Castro to assess, refine, and forward the new draft constitution to the National Assembly plenary. The reforms were seen as part of the attempt to modernize the Cuban government.[19] The draft contained 87 new articles, increasing the total from 137 to 229.[citation needed] Among the reforms were:[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

The new constitution, which also omits the aim of building a communist society and instead works towards the construction of socialism,[26] was presented to the National Assembly of People's Power by secretary of the Council of State Homero Acosta for approval on 21 July 2018 before being slated to a national referendum.[26][27] The National Assembly then approved the new Constitution on 22 July 2018,[28][29][30][31] a day ahead of schedule.[32] It was announced that a popular consultation which allows citizen input for potential amendments to the text of the proposed Constitution would start on 13 August and conclude on 15 November.[30][31][32]

It was announced that 135,000 meetings would be held during the popular consultation.[33] Each of these would be run by 7,600 two-person teams who would receive specialized training.[33] Cuban exiles were invited to take part in the meetings.[34] Following consideration of amendments, a referendum was held to pass the Constitution on February 24, 2019,[35] succeeding with 86.85% of the popular vote.[36] The popular consultation began as scheduled on 13 August 2018, in tandem with the 92nd birthday of the late Cuban President Fidel Castro.[37][38][39] The popular consultation concluded as scheduled on 15 November 2018.[40] On 1 December 2018, Granma Newspaper reported that the Cuban Parliament would be summoned to vote on proposed amendments to the new Constitution on 21 December.[41]

The new Constitution was debated at the 8th Plenum of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee which took place between 12 and 13 December 2018.[42] At the meeting, the amended draft of the proposed constitution was drawn up by a group commissioned by the National Assembly of People's Power.[42][43] However, details of what was amended would not be made public until it was approved by the National Assembly.[42] On 18 December 2018, it was revealed that one of the changes to the new constitution which would have paved the way for same sex marriage was dropped.[44][45] On 20 December 2018, another change to the new Cuban Constitution was dropped and its language once again reinserts direction to building a communist society.[46] On 21 December 2018, the Cuba National Assembly approved the amended Constitution, thus completing the final step for a referendum.[47] On 24 February 2019, the new constitution was approved by 90.15% of voters, with a turnout of 84%.[48] On 7 March, it was announced that the National Assembly would meet 10 April 2019 to determine the timeframe of when the new constitution would go into effect.[49][50][51] On 28 March, it was announced the Council of State had held a meeting on 25 March and decided that the Constitution would be proclaimed by the National Assembly on April 10.[52][53] Upon being proclaimed, the Constitution would be adopted.[54][55][56][57]

The Constitution was proclaimed as scheduled on 10 April 2019.[4] After being proclaimed, the Constitution was published in the Official Gazette of the Republic, ensuring its entry into force.[4] It was also announced that new laws enforcing the Constitutional reform of the judicial system must be enacted within 18 months.[2][58] This includes, among other things, the enactment of presumption of innocence in criminal cases and introduction of habeas corpus.[2][58] An electoral law which would enforce the change in the structure of government in Cuba also must be enacted within six months.[2][58] Within the following three months, the National Assembly would elect a president of the country, who must then appoint provincial governors and a prime minister, a new post separating the role of head of state from the role of head of government.[58][59][60]

See also


  1. ^ "With significant constitutional changes, Cuba's leaders aim for their system's survival". NBC News. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d https://www.local10.com/news/cuba/cuba-enacts-new-constitution
  3. ^ http://en.escambray.cu/2019/raul-castro-new-constitution-guarantees-continuity-of-revolution/
  4. ^ a b c https://www.plenglish.com/index.php?o=rn&id=40784&SEO=cuba-proclaimed-its-new-constitution
  5. ^ https://www.france24.com/en/20190410-defiant-cuba-enacts-new-constitution-amid-us-pressure
  6. ^ Eastman, Scott; Sobrevilla Perea, Natalia, eds. (2015). The Rise of Constitutional Government in the Iberian Atlantic World: The Impact of the Cadiz Constitution of 1812. University of Alabama Press. p. 165. ISBN 9780817318567. Archived from the original on 14 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b Eastman, Scott; Sobrevilla Perea, Natalia, eds. (2015). The Rise of Constitutional Government in the Iberian Atlantic World: The Impact of the Cadiz Constitution of 1812. University of Alabama Press. p. 156. ISBN 9780817318567. Archived from the original on 14 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Castellanos, Dimas (29 October 2012). "La Constitución de La Yaya y la futura constitución cubana". Diario de Cuba (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016. Available in English as Castellanos, Dimas. "The Constitution of La Yaya and the Future Cuban Constitution". Translating Cuba. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  9. ^ Martínez, Ivan (10 September 2015). "Cuba's Jimaguayu Constitution to be included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Program". Radio Havana. Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  10. ^ "Cubans Will Fight On" (PDF). New York Times. 28 November 1897. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  11. ^ Woolsey, Lester H. (July 1934). "The New Cuban Treaty". The American Journal of International Law. 28 (3): 530–34. doi:10.2307/2190379. JSTOR 2190379.
  12. ^ "Cuban Memories: the Cuban Constitution of 1940, then and today". Cuban Heritage Collection. University of Miami Libraries. Archived from the original on 15 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  13. ^ Bonsal, Philip W. (1971). Cuba, Castro, and the United States. Pittsburgh University Press. pp. 43, 70.
  14. ^ Nohlen, p197
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Travieso-Diaz, Matias F. (1997). The Laws and Legal System of a Free-market Cuba: A Prospectus for Business. Quorum Books. p. 106. ISBN 9781567200515. Archived from the original on 14 February 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  17. ^ Goldenziel, Jill I. (2009). "Sanctioning Faith: Religion, State, and U.S.-Cuban Relations". Journal of Law and Politics. 25 (179). Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  18. ^ Venegas, Cristina (2010). Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba. Rutgers University Press. p. 27. ISBN 9780813549101. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  19. ^ a b Editorial, Reuters. "Communist-run Cuba to recognize private property in new constitution". U.S. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  20. ^ "Cuba to reshape government with new constitution". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Cuba sets out new constitutional reforms". BBC News. 15 July 2018. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  22. ^ Marc Frank (21 February 2019). "Explainer: What is old and new in Cuba's proposed constitution". Reuters. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  23. ^ Antonio Recio (21 August 2018). "Some Traps in Cuba's New Constitution". The Havana Times.
  24. ^ "Cuba expands rights but rejects radical change in updated constitution". UPI. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  25. ^ Mega, Emiliano Rodríguez (8 March 2019). "Cuba acknowledges climate change threats in its constitution". Nature. 567 (7747): 155. doi:10.1038/d41586-019-00760-3. PMID 30862928.
  26. ^ a b "Cuba ditches aim of building communism from draft constitution". Theguardian.com. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ "Cuba economic growth weak, president says, as lawmakers approve new..." Reuters.com. 22 July 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  29. ^ July 2018, Published 7 months ago on 23. "Cuban legislature adopts new constitution - Malay Mail". Malaymail.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  30. ^ a b Robinson, Circles. "Cuba's Legislature Approves Constitutional Reforms". Havanatimes.org. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  31. ^ a b "A Constitution to serve Cuba". En.granma.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Latin American Herald Tribune - Cuba's National Assembly Concludes Debate on Constitutional Reforms". Laht.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Cuba plans 135,000 meetings to get public feedback on its proposed constitution". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  34. ^ "Cuba invites exiles to take part in debate for proposed changes to island's Constitution". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  35. ^ Legon, Elio Delgado. "Cuba's Reformed Constitution, a Democratic and Participatory Process". Havanatimes.org. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  36. ^ "Cubans overwhelmingly ratify new socialist constitution". Reuters. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Fidel's Cuba takes on the impossible". En.granma.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ "Cuba's proposed new constitution: what will change". Reuters.com. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  40. ^ "Popular Consultation on Draft Constitution Concludes in Cuba". Prensa-latina.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  41. ^ "Draft Constitution at the Center of Debates at Cuban Parliament". Prensa-latina.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  42. ^ a b c "Central Committee of the Party discusses draft Constitution - ACN". Cubanews.acn.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  43. ^ "Party Central Committee Plenum considers draft Constitution of the Republic of Cuba". En.granma.cu. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  44. ^ France-Presse, Agence. "Cuba decides to scrap same-sex marriage law in new constitution – official". Rappler.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  45. ^ "Cuba drops same-sex marriage language from new constitution". Aljazeera.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  46. ^ "Cuba reinserts 'communism' in draft of new constitution". Reuters.com. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  47. ^ Rodriguez, Rea; Weissenstein, Michael (22 December 2018). "Cuban assembly approves draft of new constitution". Apnews.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  48. ^ "Cuba dijo Sí a la nueva Constitución (+Video) (+ Carta Magna)". Granma.cu. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  49. ^ https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/nation/cuba-to-outline-new-constitution-s-timeframe-on-april/article_af804601-6797-5e06-9019-0ae2352794a6.html
  50. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  51. ^ https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-tns-bc-cuba-constitution-20190308-story.html
  52. ^ http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2019-03-28/new-constitution-of-the-republic-of-cuba-to-be-proclaimed-april-10
  53. ^ http://www.cmhw.cu/en/national/18828-new-constitution-of-the-republic-of-cuba-to-be-proclaimed-april-10
  54. ^ http://www.cubanews.acn.cu/cuba/9168-cuba-will-adopt-new-constitution-of-the-republic-on-april-10
  55. ^ http://www.ahora.cu/en/cuba-en/4725-cuba-to-adopt-new-constitution-of-the-republic-on-april-10
  56. ^ http://cubasi.com/cuba/item/17489-cuba-will-adopt-new-constitution-of-the-republic-on-april-10
  57. ^ http://www.radiorebelde.cu/english/news/cuba-will-adopt-new-constitution-of-the-republic-on-april-10-20190328/
  58. ^ a b c d https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-constitution/cuba-to-enact-new-constitution-launching-modest-state-revamp-idUSKCN1RM1VC
  59. ^ https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article229072974.html
  60. ^ https://oncubanews.com/en/cuba/new-constitution-proclaimed-and-cuba-will-have-a-prime-minister-this-year/

External links

24 February 1920

The Nazi Party is founded.

This article is about the German Nazi Party that existed from 1920 to 1945. For the ideology, see Nazism. For other Nazi Parties, see Nazi Party.
The National Socialist German Workers’ Party. German: About this soundNationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP, commonly referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany that was active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of Nazism. Its precursor, the German Workers’ Party , existed from 1919 to 1920.

The Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist, racist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created as a means to draw workers away from communism and into völkisch nationalism. Initially, Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois and anti-capitalist rhetoric, although such aspects were later downplayed in order to gain the support of industrial entities and in the 1930s the party’s focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes.

Pseudo-scientific racism theories were central to Nazism. The Nazis propagated the idea of a “people’s community”. Their aim was to unite “racially desirable” Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race. The Nazis sought to improve the stock of the Germanic people through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs and a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state and the “Aryan master race”. To maintain the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and Poles along with the vast majority of other Slavs and the physically and mentally handicapped. They imposed exclusionary segregation on homosexuals, Africans, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state organised the systematic genocidal killing of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust.

The party’s leader since 1921, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. Hitler rapidly established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich. Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was “declared to be illegal” by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war.

24 February 1854

The Penny Red, the first postage stamp is officially issued for distribution.

The Penny Red was a British postage stamp, issued in 1841. It succeeded the Penny Black and continued as the main type of postage stamp in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1879, with only minor changes to the design during that time. The colour was changed from black to red because of difficulty in seeing a cancellation mark on the Penny Black; a black cancel was readily visible on a Penny Red.

Initially, some of the same plates that were used to print the Penny Black were used to print the Penny Red and about 21 billion Penny Reds were printed by Messrs. Perkins, Bacon & Co. Initially, the stamp had no perforations, and had to be cut from the sheet using scissors in the same manner as for the Penny Black and the early printings of the Two pence blue. Perforations, first came into use in 1850 and were officially adopted in 1854. The experimental issue can be distinguished from the general issue as the later was applied to stamp which used a different alphabet type for the letters in the lower corners. Each stamp has unique corner letters AA, AB, AC … AL etc., so its position on the plate can be identified.

In January 1855, the perforation size was changed from 16 to 14 as it was found that the sheets were coming apart too easily. The reduced size allowed the sheets to remain intact until pressure was applied to force the separation.

The stamps were printed in sheets of 240, so one row cost 1 shilling and a complete sheet one pound. This 240 stamps per sheet configuration continued with all British postage stamps issued until 1971 when decimal currency was introduced when the sheet size was changed to 200, making the lowest value denomination one pound per sheet.

24 February 1942

A false alarm led to an anti-aircraft barrage that lasted into the early hours of February 25 for what became known as the Battle of Los Angeles.

A remarkable series of false alarms and errors, most likely brought on by widespread “war nerves”, began in California on this day in 1942, resulting in an incident which became known as The Battle of Los Angeles. Rumours of an air raid on the city and the heightened state of readiness – just three months after the attack on Pearl Harbor provoked America’s entrance into World War II – led to reports of an enemy attack and an hour of anti-aircraft bombardment into the night sky.The day before, the Californian coast had been fired upon by a Japanese submarine near Ellwood, the first shelling of the North American mainland in the war. Though minimal damage was caused, the bombardment was widely reported, causing some panic which led hundreds to flee the area.

Despite rumours of a cover-up, no proof could be found that any attack had taken place. A stray weather balloon was blamed for the start of the bombardment, with confusion exacerbated by anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught in searchlights, being mistaken for enemy planes.