Cuba’s new Families Code: A pathway for these times

Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Diaz-Canel meets with members of the drafting committee, preparing the latest version of the Code which includes proposals made during the popular consultation

Photo: Ariel Cecilio Lemus

“Intensive work has been done throughout the popular consultation on the draft Families Code, despite the difficulties the country is facing,” stated Party First Secretary and President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during a May 10 meeting he held with members of the Drafting Commission, working on the text which must be an accurate reflection of Cuba’s current reality and our Constitution.
During the meeting, also attended by Political Bureau members Salvador Valdés Mesa, Vice President of the Republic; Roberto Morales Ojeda, Party Secretary of Organization; along with other Secretariat members, Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, President of the National Electoral Council, stressed that the extensive consultation process of the text across the country concluded with the participation of more than 6,480,000 persons, in more than 79,000 meetings.
Among the issues that generated the greatest number of proposals, she highlighted those referring to “marriage, parental responsibility, adoption, solidarity gestation, progressive autonomy, order of surnames, discrimination and violence within the family, as well as assisted reproduction.”
According to Roberto Morales Ojeda, the popular consultation process concluded favorably, but much work remains in creating a Code that he defined as “modern and inclusive, one which eliminates inequalities.”
In this sense, Minister of Justice Oscar Silvera Martínez, explained the schedule of tasks to be completed prior to the presentation of the draft Families Code to the National Assembly of People’s Power.
In statements to the press, he explained that on May 15 the National Electoral Council will deliver to the National Assembly of People’s Power its conclusive summary of the national popular consultation, including all the statistical data, paragraph by paragraph, item by item.
The Drafting Commission– which was established last year by the Council of State – will receive this information and carefully study its contents.
The drafting of this critical, historic document has been a work of consensus-building and meticulous study, as Silvera noted, pointing out that the team will be responsible for making decisions regarding the inclusion of changes and modifications under consideration based on proposals made during the popular consultation.
The proposal will once again be submitted for evaluation by the highest legislative body. “We estimate that by June 17 we will deliver the new version of the draft to the National Assembly of People’s Power,” he stated.
Silvera reminded journalists that this body has, by constitutional and legal mandate, its own laws of organization and operation. “The Assembly will make this draft public, it will establish, as is customary, a system of debate among the deputies, and when these internal procedures are concluded, it will be in a position to submit it to a plenary session for approval, with the transformations and changes that our parliamentarians sovereignly chose.
“The version approved by the Assembly,” he stressed, “will be the one that is submitted, based on its own mandates and as outlined in the Constitution of the Republic, to a popular referendum, for approval by our people.”
Silvera reflected on the many lessons the entire process has provided, and on how much “must still be explained to the population.”
“This is a transcendental text, which reinforces rights, fulfills and expands rights, and this is inherent to our revolutionary and socialist essence as a society,” he asserted.
The Minister of Justice continued, “The Code must become a kind of life map, to which people assiduously consult when considering the best options for their family environment. Once we have the Code, we must continue to talk about this text a great deal, to continue strengthening unity, love, affection, the fraternity of Cuban men and women, respecting each and everyone.
In the meeting held at the headquarters of the Party Central Committee with the country’s highest leadership, University of Havana professor DSc Yuri Pérez Martínez, emphasized the legitimacy of the popular consultation as a democratic exercise, stating “This draft Families Code is an expression of our defense of human rights.”
In these times, having such a modern Families Code, an expression of our determination to protect all human rights, is a “necessary battle,” as President Diaz-Canel described it, following the meeting.