Cuban government to release results of Cuban referendum vote

Rubio says process to change constitution is 'farce and a fraud'

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

Cubans were expecting the officials with the electoral commission to release the results of the referendum on the constitution to replace the Cold-War era charter on Monday.

The new constitution expands Cuba's legal recognition of private property and paves the way for the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriage with the omission of the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, which evangelicals oppose. 

After a popular consultation, Cuba's National Assembly approved a draft in December and Cubans were allowed to vote to accept or reject the draft on Sunday. President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who took officer last year, promoted "#IVoteYes" saying the modernized charter will help protect "everyone's rights."

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American Republican, doesn't believe the process is really an opportunity for opposition Cubans' to openly voice their dissent. 

"The so-called referendum in Cuba is another maneuver by the Cuban dictatorship to hold its grip on power," Rubio wrote on Twitter on Sunday. "Today's plebiscite is nothing more than a farce and a fraud of the communist party."

The new constitution allows Cubans to have dual citizenship. It also introduces the presumption of innocence in the judicial system, creates the prime minister position to oversee state affairs and limits presidential terms to two five-year terms. 

After Fidel Castro's death, his brother Raul Castro implemented reforms to reduce restrictions on private enterprise and encouraged foreign investment with public-private deals in the tourism, shipping and energy sectors. 

 

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