Analysis of the Proyecto Varela

Compiled and prepared by New Generation Cuba.

In black is the original text of the Varela Project.
In bold black are the number of the articles.
In blue is the analysis of New Generation Cuba
In bold italic blue are the articles of Cuba's Constitution
In bold blue are the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(All comments are inserted inside de original document)

PROYECTO VARELA

FUNDAMENTALS

The Constitution of the Republic guarantees the citizens the right to propose changes in the legal order, and it also offers the procedures, so that by means of thepopular consultation the people decide sovereign and democratically on the accomplishment of changes and the content of such. Payá is the founder of the "Proyecto Varela", a petition campaign that tried to use a loophole on the framework of the Communist Constitution. He seeks to take advantage of Art. 88g, which permits any citizen who collects 10.000 signatures to send a petition to the National Assembly of the Popular Power, for a referendum on any subject. The Proyecto Varela contains five such demands: 1. Freedom of association, speech and the press; 2. Liberation of some political prisoners; 3. The rightto sell labor freely and establish businesses; 4. The right to present candidates for election; 5. Free elections within a year if the referendum is successful.But "Proyecto Varela" fails to make its first article or focal point, the derogation of the 1976 Communist Constitution, which takes all the liberties away. This worthiness of the present laws of containing in themselves the keyto change the law, so that they adjust to the necessities and demands of improving the society, is completed, if the people that legitimately are equipped to do it, can activate this key.

This form of civic action is the connection by excellence between the popular will and the political and legal structures of the society that practices the democracy.The operation of this connection is a sign of the societyís capacity of pacific and gradual evolution, of its capacity to change and to advance progressively in a harmonic and total development, and in the elevation of the quality of life.

By this, we propose to make the changes from the law. The law is always perfectible You can not try to make perfect, a Constitution that can not be changed, there is not a perfectible democracy in Cuba, Cubaís constitution is irrevocable as per the Constitutional Reform approved in June 26,2002 with a "Referendum" made by Castro with the signatures of 8,198,237 electors. Excerpt from the Special Disposition Chapter XV, Art. 137 "...and it is proposed that the socialist characteristics and the political and socialsystem contained within be declared irrevocable, as a dignified and categoricalanswer to the exigencies and threats of the imperialist government of the United States in May 20, 2002." and

must be based on the public welfare and on the total accomplishment of the person. Butdiverse criteria exist on the changes that are necessary in our society in the political, social and economic spheres, and furthermore, opposed opinions about the relevance of these changes. The answer is not simple and it demands of the good will and the responsible position of all the Cubans. Then, are the changes necessary? Tosolve this question is the key. But the wise and right answer can only be givenby the sovereign people in Popular Consult, a Referendum. But why these questions, these proposals? By answering to these proposals the people provide themselves with the legal instruments, by means of the exercise of their rights, the practice of solidarity, and thefulfillment of their duties in order to have a greater participation in the decisions that affect them, in the determination of the course that takes our Nation andin the construction of a better society.

With this platform it is the same people who decide if there are changes or not, and who make the changes as protagonist and subject of his own history. Itís not the people but Cubaís Communist Party, the one who decides when, and if there are any changes as per Art. 5 of the Communist Constitution of 1976: "Cubaís Communist Party, Martiís and Marxist-Leninist, the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the superior leading force of the society and the State, that organizes and guides the common efforts aimed to achieve the high ends of the construction of the socialism and the advance toward the communist society."

We are not offering a project or model of society, but proposing the first step to create new and better conditions of right. And thus, among all the Cubans, they will create and develop their own project of society according to their sovereign will, from the spiritual values of our Nation and the experiences of their history, and to respond to the challenges that the arrival of the new millennium raises.

Tosign this request does not mean, in any way, to support or to have ties to any association or group neither to establish commitments with the people who wrote it up andthose who propose it. When a Cuban signs this request of Popular Consultation he is making use of the rights that the present Constitution gives him Noneof the liberties or rights can be exercised against the Communist Constitution of 1976. As per Art. 62 "...None of the liberties recognized to the citizens may be exercised against what is established in the Constitution and the laws, neither against the existence and aims of the socialist State, nor against the decision of the Cuban people of constructing the socialism and thecommunism. The infraction to this principle is punishable." to make requests, and contribute freely and with solidarity to improve our society, tothe solution of the problems that our people suffer and to prepare a better future for our children, here, in our Mother country.

The FIVE PROPOSALS are self-explanatory.

THE RIGHTS TO FREE EXPRESSION AND FREE ASSOCIATION

These rights and all the Human rights exist before nobody formulated them or wrote them, you and all your fellow men have these rights because you are human beings, This is why we think that we should not be taking these rights to the ballot. All men are born with these rights and you do not have to ask any Government for them. The Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, of which Cuba is a signer, dictates in its Art. 19 "Every individual has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." because you are of association and expression, they comprisethe worthy and responsible participation of the citizen in the society. When inthe proposal it is clarified that the law must guarantee these rights TheCommunist Constitution will give you these rights as long as you are in favor of their model of society. As per Art. 53: "...It is recognized from the citizen the freedom of speech and press, in conformity to the aims of the socialist society. The material conditions for its exerciseare given by the fact that the press, the radio, the television, the movie industry and other parts of the media for massive diffusion are state or social property, and can not be in any case of private property, which assures that it will beused exclusively by the working people and the society interest. The Law regulates this liberties." Also see Art. 62 mentioned before preserving the respect to the human dignity, the Human Rights and the public welfare, we anticipated to any unfounded fear against the free expression and free association, since nobody can exert their rights attempting against the human dignity and the rights of others or against public welfare. No one can as well say, that he defends public welfare annulling the exercise of these rights, since the search of public welfare is to work for conditions of life in a society where the people are totally realized and this is impossible where the human rights are not guaranteed.

Besides of a right it is a necessity that in the society exist independent organizations of temporary or permanent character, so that the citizens can defend their interests and participate in the decisions of the State and in all the social tasks contributing with their efforts and initiatives in all the fields. Pluralism is not imposedby decree, but it must be respected and guaranteed by law, Cubaís Communist Party is the only recognized or legal Party, there is not pluralism as per Art. 5 of the Communist Constitution of 1976: "Cubaís Communist Party, Martiís and Marxist-Leninist, the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the superior leading force of the society andthe State, that organizes and guides the common efforts aimed to achieve the high ends of the construction of the socialism and the advance toward the communistsociety." because it is a reality that not everyone thinks the sameor in a particular way about everything and it is a right of the people to be associated and to express themselves according to their ideas and interests where nobody by its own ideas or by any condition will be able to nullify this right in others. 

Ifthe law guaranteed the free association and expression, this law would be more adjustable to the Constitution; the fact of the diversity of opinions present in the society would be recognized, it would open room to criticism, it would impulse the creativity, the dialogue, a more participating democracy, the exercise of the popular sovereignty and therefore, the bases of National Independence will be fortified. TheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Cuba is a signer dictates in its Art. 19 "Every individual has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through anymedia and regardless of frontiers." This is why we think that we should not be taking these rights to the ballot, all men are born with these rights you do not have to ask to any Government for them.

THE AMNESTY

The existence in our country of jailed people by political reasons obeys as much to actions in which the involved people broke the law, In Cuba, none of theindividuals known as political prisoners are convicted under the charges of being against the Government; instead they are usually charged with common crimes, so before the eyes of the International Community, Cuba has fewer political prisoners than in reality. The most common of this "charges" are: resistance to arrest, disorderly conduct, disrespect, contempt, etc. as to abuses of authority, arbitrary actions, and also violations of the law on the part of the authorities. Many have been stopped from practicing Human Rights that the present laws do not recognize. This step is not a revision, it is a passage of renovation of all the society that becomes aware of this necessity.

The reconciliation cannot occur by decree, but if it is wished by our people and they indicate it thus in the Referendum, by approving the Amnesty; it would open, by this act of pardon and justice, a new stage for a community that will love to surpass all the negative things of the past and to give to itself the opportunity to be born again. If we, the Cubans, cannot agree about the past, then we must agreeabout the future so that it will be one of peace, brotherhood and freedom, for our childrenís own good.

THE RIGHT OF THE CUBANS TO FORM COMPANIES

With the approval of this proposal we will obtain a bigger participation of the citizens in the task of satisfying the populationís necessities of services and goods; therefore freeing the human capacities to work in order to rise the level and the quality of life, the independence of the people and the families and to contribute to the development of the Nation. Theexercise of this right within the regulations of the law for the common well-being will be a determining factor in the overcoming of the insecurity and the instability of the citizensí economic activity and it will eliminate the embezzlements, the illegal appropriations and robberies to a great extent, the corruption ofemployees and civil employees, the privileges by abuse of authority, the parasitism, the speculation and many of the causes of the differences, until now unsolvable, between the worker who tries to survive with a wage, and the one who, by the speculation or position of authority attains a standard of life economically superior.

This opening will be a stimulus to leave behind the so expensive negligence and lack of production, the unemployment in all its forms and the poverty in which moreand more Cubans are sinking when they are left without options, or with a wage of very little real value. This poverty and the lack of options, is one of the causes of the desire to emigrate of many Cubans, it is the lack of freedom and the constant repression, and not the lack of options of Castroís Stalinist police State, which makes the Cubans flee the island prison. The Cuban People were not emigrants before Castroís Revolution turned into a Tyranny. phenomenon that brings as much upset to the Cuban family. From here the currency, and with it the wage of the workers, would begin to take their right value.

The satisfaction of the peopleís necessities of consumer goods, the control, and the democratic property by the workers of the production means are not reduced to the stateís property, which is one and not the only form of socialproperty. The long stages of shortage, inefficiency and precarious conditions that we have endured demonstrate that it is necessary an opening to the citizen's participation in the economic activity, the management and the property. This opening must guarantee the right of the Cubans to form private companies of individual property, as well as cooperatives, such as mixed companies between the workers and the State. Will this be more difficult to obtain as a right for the Cubans and among Cubans, than what has been granted to foreign companies: the right, not only to participatebut to have, in some cases, the total property of a company, as it is mandated by the law that regulates the foreign investments? Castroís Government requires foreign companies in joint ventures with state entities to hire and pay workers through the State. These exploitative labor practices force foreign companies to pay the Government as much as $500 to $600 per month for the workers, whilethe workers in turn receive only $8.25 (165 pesos) for a maid, per month; $9.50 (190 pesos) for a bilingual clerk, per month; and $10.75 (216 pesos) for a gardener, per month.

The law will be able to harmonize the citizensí responsible and creative participation in the economic task, with the social orientation of a private company, with the respect to the consumer, the humanization of the work, the guarantees of the rights of the workers and with the social security. This way the State will be able to count with more resources to guarantee, without depending on the foreign aid, the gratuitous services of public health and education These are two of the biggest lies or myths, that the Communist Revolution and its countless resources have created around Castroís regime. Education and health are "free" but then, you have access to an indoctrinated Educational System,where you are bombarded from the earliest age with the Communist Doctrine. Onlyif you are among the most fervent admirers of this doctrine you will be able tocontinue your studies after passing 12th grade; and only if you are a member ofthe UJC or Union of the Communist Youth you will be able to start a career at the University. Of course, you can not choose the career of your preference, you make a list of the few available, and then you will be assigned to the one that you"deserve" after the Communist Partyís Secretary review your records.

That is, if you are not going to "Los Camilitos" or "La Lenin": two of the "private", yes private, schools designated only for the children of the "Elite", consisting of the Generalís and Colonel's children. On the other hand, the children"pay their debt with the Revolution" for their "free health" by attending slave camps, and devoting as many as 45 days of their summer vacation to farm work, laboring 8 hours or more per day. They do this from 3rd to 12th grade and when they start the University, then they are expected to go to the "voluntary work" camps and the other social services and would offer them, not like a paternalistic structure, but like administrator of the communal properties, to which all the citizens contribute responsibly, exerting their rights and practicing solidarity.

A NEW ELECTORAL LAW

Tounderstand this proposal it will be necessary to look at two key elements of the electoral process:

1. The candidatures or nomination of candidates, that is, the way of determining who will be the citizens among whom the electors will choose their representatives, as delegates or as deputies.

2.The elections. We recommend the study of the current Electoral Law if you do not recall its positions and to analyze this proposal before making a decision.

Asper the current law, the candidates to Delegates to the Municipal Assembly ofthe Popular Power are nominated by vote in public assemblies of the electors ofthe corresponding district. However, the candidates to Delegate to the Provincial Assemblies are nominated at each Municipal Assembly of the Popular Power basedon propositions of the correspondent Candidature Municipal Commission, that at the same time receives proposals directly from the Provincial and National Candidature Commission.

The electors, as per the current law do not directly participate in the candidatesí nomination to Delegates of the Provincial Assemblies nor to the candidatesto Deputies of the National Assembly of the Popular Power and besides, only onecandidate is nominated for each position as Deputy to the National Assembly of the Popular Power.For example, if to at each municipality corresponds five deputies to the National Assembly of the Popular Power in the electoral ballot only appears five candidates and each elector may vote for one, for some, for none of them or for all of the five. The electors can not choose their five deputies among a larger number ofcandidates. Note that all of these candidates, Delegates and Deputies belong to the same Communist Party, the only Party legally able to present aspirants and candidates, as per Art. 5 of the Communist Constitution of 1976: "Cubaís Communist Party, Martiís and Marxist-Leninist, the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the superior leading force of the society and the State, that organizes and guides the common efforts aimed to achieve the high ends of the construction of the socialism and the advance toward the communist society."

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