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Since attaining its independence from Spain, Cuba has had four constitutions. The current constitution was drafted in 1976 and has since been amended.

1901 Constitution[edit]

The 1901 Constitution was Cuba's first as an independent state. It contained the Platt Amendment, which allowed the United States to intervene in Cuba's affairs to protect its independence.[1]

1934 Constitution[edit]

Cuba's second constitution came into effect in 1934. This document was intended to be a provisional constitution.

1940 Constitution[edit]

In 1940, during the de facto presidency of Federico Laredo Brú, a constitution was created. It provided for land reform, public education, minimum wage and other progressive ideas. Some of its provisions were not implemented in practice. Following a coup d'etat by Fulgencio Batista in 1952, parts of this constitution were suspended.

Prior to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and the other revolutionaries, through several documents, such as "History will absolve me" (1952), the "Manifiesto de la Sierra",[2][3] etc. claimed that their chief goal was to reinstate the Constitution of 1940, a promise which was never honored after their victory.

The last surviving signer of the 1940 Constitution, Emilio Ochoa, died in Miami, Florida, on 27 June 2007.[4]

1976 Constitution[edit]

After 16 years of extra-constitutional rule (1959–1975), used to consolidate its power, the revolutionary government of Cuba sought to institutionalize the revolution. The Socialist Constitution of 1976 was adopted by referendum on February 15, in which it was approved by 97.7% of voters.[5] The document came into effect on February 24, 1976.

Original provisions[edit]

This constitution called for a centralized control of the market, and committed the State to providing its citizens with access to free education and health care. The state had the power to regulate the activities of religious institutions on the island, and the private ownership of media companies was forbidden.

Later amendments[edit]

In the late 1980s, as the Eastern Bloc collapsed, the laws of Cuba changed again to respond to the new conditions of the Special Period. The constitutional amendments of 1992 granted foreign corporations a limited right to own property on the island if they took part in joint ventures with the government. It also provided for non-discrimination based on religious belief (i.e., allowing persons with religious belief to join the Communist Party of Cuba).

Poster urging citizens to vote to make the socialist system permanent and irrevocable by amending the constitution

In 2002, the Cuban Constitution was again amended to stipulate that its socialistic system was permanent and irrevocable.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nohlen, D (2005) Elections in the Americas: A data handbook, Volume I, p195 ISBN 978-0-19-928357-6
  2. ^ http://www.cedema.org/ver.php?id=3413
  3. ^ Revista Bohemia (Havana), July 28, 1957, pp. 69, 96-99
  4. ^ "Emilio Ochoa, signer of Cuba's 1940 constitution, dies at 99". Associated Press (International Herald Tribune). 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  5. ^ Nohlen, p197
  6. ^ Nohlen, p199

External links[edit]

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2 news items

Havana Times

Havana Times
Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:52:00 -0700

HAVANA TIMES — The first and main problem, the original sin of the “reform process” and its “guidelines” approved at the 6th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), is its failure to define the type of society it seeks to create and the aims and ...
Radio Cadena Agramonet
Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:45:00 -0700

Similarly, young writers and trova singer-songwriters will trade art and experiences with local people in rural communities and towns of this province, including the city of Guáimaro where the first Constitution of Cuba was approved in the 19th century ...

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