Constitution of Cuba (1940)

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Constitution of the Republic of Cuba  (1940) 
translated by
Foreign Office

Implemented during the presidency of Federico Laredo Brú and took effect on 10 October 1940. It was primarily influenced by the collectivist ideas that inspired the Cuban Revolution of 1933. Widely considered one of the most progressive constitutions at the time, it provided for land reform, public education, a minimum wage and other social programs.

CONSTITUTION of the Republic of Cuba.—Guaimaro, October 10, 1940[1]

(Translation)

We, the delegates of the people of Cuba, assembled in a constitutional convention, for the purpose of providing the people with a new fundamental law which will consolidate its organisation as an independent and sovereign nation, suitable for insuring liberty and justice, maintaining order and promoting the general welfare, resolve, after invoking the favour of God, upon the following Constitution:


Title I.—The Nation, its Territory and Form of Government


Art. 1. Cuba is an independent and sovereign Nation organised as a unitary and democratic republic, for the enjoyment of political liberty, social justice, the individual and collective welfare and human solidarity.

2. Sovereignty rests in the people and from the people all public powers emanate.

3. The territory of the Republic is composed of the Island of Cuba, the Isle of Pines, and the other adjacent islands and keys which with them were under the sovereignty of Spain until the ratification of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.[2]

The Republic shall not conclude or ratify any pacts or treaties which in any manner limit or lessen national sovereignty or its territorial integrity.

4. The territory of the Republic is divided into Provinces and these latter into municipal districts. The present Provinces shall be named: Pinar del Rio, La Habana, Matanzas, Las Villas, Camagüey and Oriente.

5. The flag of the Republic is that of Narciso López, which was raised on Morro Fort at Havana on May 20, 1902, when the public powers were transmitted to the people of Cuba. The national coat of arms is the one established as such by law. The Republic shall not recognise or consecrate, as having a national character, any flag, anthem or coat of arms other than those to which this Article refers.

On buildings, forts and public dependencies, and at official acts, no flag shall be raised other than the national one, except foreign flags in those cases and in the manner permitted by protocol and by international usages, treaties and the laws. As an exception, the flag of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes may be raised in the City of Bayamo, which is declared a national monument.

The national anthem is the Hymn of Bayamo, composed by Pedro Figueredo, and it shall be the only one played in all government dependencies, barracks and official acts. Foreign anthems can be played in the cases previously specified in connection with foreign flags.

Notwithstanding what is specified in the second paragraph of this Article, flags pertaining to the armed forces can be raised on forts and barracks. In like manner, societies, organisations or associations of any kind can raise their flags or insignia on their buildings, but the national flag shall always occupy a preferential place.

6. The official language of the Republic is Spanish.

7. Cuba condemns wars of aggression; it aspires to live in peace with other nations and to maintain with them cultural and commercial relations and ties.

The Cuban nation adopts the principles and practices of international law that favour human solidarity, respect for the sovereignty of peoples, and reciprocity between nations, and universal peace and civilisation.


Title II.—Nationality

8. Citizenship involves duties and rights, the adequate exercise of which shall be regulated by law.

9. Every Cuban is obliged:

(a) To serve the country with arms, in the cases and in the manner established by law.

(b) To contribute to the public expenses in the manner and amount directed by law.

(c) To comply with the Constitution and the laws of the Republic and to conduct himself as a good citizen, inculcating this practice in his own children and those under his care, instilling in them the purest national conscience.

10. A citizen is entitled:

(a) To reside in his country without being subjected to any discrimination or extortion of any kind, no matter what his tace, class, political opinions or religious beliefs.

(b) To vote as the law directs in elections and referenda that are called in the Republic.

(c) To receive the benefits of social assistance and public cooperation, after evidencing in the first case the fact that he is a pauper.

(d) To perform public functions and hold public offices.

(e) To the performance of labour as directed by the Constitution and the law.

11. Cuban citizenship is acquired by birth or by naturalisation.

12. Cubans by birth are:

(a) All persons born in the territory of the Republic, excepting the children of foreigners in the service of their government.

(b) Those born in foreign territory, of a Cuban father or mother, by the mere fact of such children taking up residence in Cuba.

(c) Those who, having been born outside of the territory of the Republic, of a father or mother who is a native of Cuba but who lost that nationality, claim Cuban citizenship in the manner and subject to the conditions fixed by law.

(d) Foreigners who rendered service for a year or more in the army of liberation, remaining in it until the termination of the War for Independence, provided they prove this status by a Satisfactory legal document issued by the National Archives.

13. Cubans by naturalisation are:

(a) Foreigners who, after 5 years of continuous residence in the territory of the Republic and not less than 1 year after having declared their intention to acquire Cuban nationality, obtain citizenship papers in accordance with law, provided they are familiar with the Spanish language.

(6) Foreign men who marry Cuban women, and foreign women who marry Cuban men, when children are born of that union or they reside in the country continuously for 2 years after being married, and provided that they first renounce their original nationality.

14. Citizenship papers and certificates of Cuban nationality shall be exempt from taxation.

15. Cuban citizenship is lost by:

(a) Those who acquire foreign citizenship.

(b) Those who, without permission from the Senate, enter the military service of another nation, or perform functions which carry with them their own authority or jurisdiction.

(c) Naturalised Cubans who reside for 3 consecutive years in their country of birth, unless each 3 years they state before the corresponding consular authority their will to retain Cuban citizenship.

Crimes and reasons of unworthiness producing loss of citizenship by naturalisation, by means of a final sentence of the competent courts, can be determined by law.

(d) Naturalised citizens who accept a double citizenship.

The loss of citizenship for the reasons specified in Sections (b) and (c) of this Article shall be made effective only by a final decision in proceedings in which the interested person is heard, before a court of justice, as provided by law.

16. Neither marriage nor its dissolution affect the nationality of the spouses or their children.

A Cuban woman married to a foreign man retains Cuban nationality.

A foreign woman married to a Cuban man and a foreign man married to a Cuban woman shall retain her or his original nationality or shall acquire Cuban nationality, by a choice regulated by the Constitution, the law or international treaties.

17. Cuban citizenship can be recovered in the manner prescribed by law.

18. No Cuban by naturalisation can perform, in the name of Cuba, official functions in his country of origin.


Title III.—Alienage

19. Aliens residing in the territory of the Republic shall have the same status as Cubans:

(a) With respect to the protection of their persons and property.

(b) With respect to the enjoyment of the rights recognised in this Constitution, except as to those exclusively granted to Natives.

The Government, nevertheless, has the power to compel an alien to leave the national territory in the cases and manner specified by law.

In the case of aliens with a Cuban family established in Cuba, a judicial decision shall be necessary to accomplish the expulsion, as prescribed by the law on the subject.

The organisation of associations of aliens shall be regulated by law, without permitting discrimination against the rights of Cubans who form part of such associations.

(c) As to the obligation to abide by the social economic régime of the Republic.

(d) As to the obligation to observe the Constitution and the law.

(e) As to the obligation to contribute toward public expenses in the manner and amount directed by law.

(f) As to submission to the jurisdiction and resolutions of the courts and authorities of the Republic.

(g) In respect of the enjoyment of civil rights, under the conditions and with the limitations prescribed by law.

Title IV.—Fundamental Rights

Section 1.—Individual Rights

20. All Cubans are equal before the law. The Republic recognises neither personal exemptions nor privileges.

All discrimination by reason of sex, race, colour, class, or any other that detracts from human dignity, is declared unlawful and punishable.

The penalties incurred by those who violate this precept shall be established by law.

21. Penal laws shall have retroactive effect when they are favourable to the delinquent. There are excluded from this benefit, in cases where fraud was involved, public officers or employees who commit a crime in the exercise of their office, and those responsible for electoral crimes and crimes against the individual rights guaranteed by this Constitution. Those who commit these crimes shall have applied to them the penalties and qualifications according to the law in force at the time the crime is committed.

22. No other laws shall have retroactive effect, unless the law itself so determines for reasons of public order, of social utility or national necessity, expressly specified in the law, which must have a favourable vote of two-thirds of the total number of members of each co-legislative body. If the grounds for retroactivity are impugned in proceedings regarding unconstitutional matters, it shall be the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees that shall decide thereon, and it cannot, for technical reasons or any other motive whatever, refrain from doing so.

In every case the law itself must establish the degree, manner and form in which indemnity will be paid for the damages, if any, which the retroactivity causes to rights legitimately acquired in accordance with prior legislation.

A law approved in accordance with this Article shall not be valid if it produces effects contrary to the provisions of Article 24 of this Constitution.

23. Obligations of a civil character arising from contracts or from other acts or omissions producing them cannot be annulled or altered by either the legislative or the executive branch, and laws can consequently not have retroactive effect with respect to said obligations. The exercise of the rights of action derived from them can be suspended in a case of serious national crisis, for such time as is reasonably necessary, by means of the same procedure and subject to the impugnability referred to in the first paragraph of the preceding Article.

24. Confiscation of property is prohibited. No one can be deprived of his property except by competent judicial authority and for a justified cause of public utility or social interest, and always after payment of the appropriate indemnity in cash, judicially fixed. Non-compliance with these conditions shall determine the right of the person whose property has been expropriated, to be protected by the courts, and, if the case calls for it, to have his property restored to him.

The reality of the cause of public utility or social interest, and the need for the expropriation, shall be decided by the courts in case of doubt.

25. The death penalty cannot be imposed. Exception is made as to members of the armed forces, for crimes of a military character, and as to persons guilty of treason, or of espionage in favour of the enemy at a time of war with a foreign nation.

26. The Law of Criminal Procedure shall establish the guarantees that are necessary in order that every crime may be proved independently of the testimony of the accused, the spouse and also the relatives thereof to the fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity. The accused shall be considered innocent until a condemnatory sentence is issued against him.

In all cases, the authorities and their agents shall make a record of the arrest, which shall be signed by the person arrested, who shall be informed, by the authority who ordered it, of the reason for it and the place to which he is going to be taken, all of these details being entered on the record.

Registers of arrested persons and prisoners are public.

Every act against the personal integrity, safety or honour of an arrested person shall be attributed to those who apprehend or guard him, in the absence of proof to the contrary. A subordinate can refuse to comply with orders which violate this guarantee. A guard who uses arms against an arrested person or a prisoner who attempts flight, shall be necessarily blamed and responsible, according to law, for the crime that he commits.

Persons arrested or imprisoned for political or social reasons shall be confined in separate quarters from common criminals, and shall not be required to do any labour whatever nor subjected to the prison regulations for common prisoners.

No arrested person or prisoner shall be kept isolated.

Violations of this order shall be tried by only the regular courts, whatever the place, the circumstances, and the persons participating in the arrest.

27. Every arrested person shall be placed at liberty, or delivered to the competent judicial authority, within 24 hours following his arrest.

Every arrested person shall be set free or imprisoned by a judicial decision stating the reasons for it, within 72 hours after the arrested person is placed at the disposition of the competent judge. The interested person shall within the same period be notified of the decision rendered.

Persons imprisoned but not yet convicted shall be kept in places distinct and completely separate from those utilised for serving sentences, and those so imprisoned cannot be compelled to do any work whatever or be subjected to the prison regulations for those serving sentences.

28. No one shall be indicted or condemned except by a competent judge or court, by virtue of laws antedating the crime and with the formalities and guarantees established by them. No sentence shall be pronounced against an indicted person in default nor shall anyone be condemned in a criminal cause without being heard. Neither shall anyone be compelled to testify against himself, or against his or her spouse or relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity.

No violence or coercion of any kind shall be exercised on persons to compel them to testify. All testimony obtained in violation of this precept shall be null, and those responsible shall be subject to the penalties fixed by law.

29. Everyone who is arrested or imprisoned outside of the cases or without the formalities and guarantees specified by the Constitution and the law shall be placed at liberty, on his own request or that of any other person, without the necessity of a power of attorney or the services of a lawyer, by means of summary habeas corpus proceedings before the regular courts.

The court cannot decline its jurisdiction, nor consider questions of competency in any case or for any reason, nor defer its decision, which shall have preference over any other matter.

Presentation, before the court which issued the writ of habeas corpus, of every arrested or imprisoned person, regardless of the authority or officer, person or entity holding him, is absolutely obligatory, and no excuse of acting under other orders can be made.

All provisions that impede or retard the presentation of the person deprived of liberty, as well as those causing any delay in the habeas corpus proceedings, shall be null, and the judicial authority shall so declare on its own initiative.

When the arrested or imprisoned person is not presented before the court hearing the habeas corpus proceedings, the said court shall order the arrest of the violator, who shall be judged as provided by law.

Judges or justices who refuse to admit an application for a writ of habeas corpus, or who do not comply with the other provisions of this Article, shall be removed from their respective offices by the government section of the Supreme Court.

30. Any person can enter and remain in the national territory, leave it, remove from one place to another, and change his residence, without necessity for a letter of safe-conduct, passport or other similar authority, except what is provided by the immigration laws and the powers of the authorities in case of criminal liability.

No one shall be compelled to change his domicile or residence, except by mandate of a judicial authority and in the case and with the conditions specified by law.

No Cuban can be expatriated nor shall his entry into the territory of the Republic be prohibited.

31. The Republic of Cuba offers and recognises the right of asylum for political refugees, provided that those who take advantage of it respect the national sovereignty and laws.

The Nation will not authorise extradition of those guilty of political crimes nor will it attempt to obtain extradition of Cubans guilty of those crimes who take refuge in foreign territory.

When the expulsion of an alien from the national territory is proper in accordance with the Constitution and the law, the extradition shall not be effected, in the case of a political exile, to the territory of the nation that may claim him.

32. Secrecy of mail and other private documents is inviolable, and neither the former nor the latter can be seized or examined except by official agents or officers, by virtue of a decree, stating its reasons, issued by a competent judge. In every case secrecy shall be maintained with respect to details not relevant to the matter that led to the seizure or examination. Secrecy of telegraphic, telephonic and cablegraphic communication is declared inviolable on the same terms.

33. Every person can, without subjection to prior censorship, freely express his thoughts, orally, in writing or by any other graphic or oral means of expression, utilising for the purpose any or all of the available means of diffusion.

Editions of books, booklets, phonograph records, films, newspapers or publications of any kind can be seized only when they attack the honour of persons, the social order or the public peace, and as the result of a resolution, stating its reasons, issued by a competent judicial authority and without prejudice to the responsibilities resulting from the criminal act committed.

In the cases to which this Article refers, there can be no seizure of or interference with the use and enjoyment of the premises, equipment or instruments used by the organ of publicity in question, except for civil liability.

34. Domiciles are inviolable, and consequently no one can enter at night the domicile of another without the consent of its occupant, unless it be to rescue the victims of a crime or disaster; nor by day, except in the cases and in the manner determined by law.

In case of the suspension of this guarantee, it shall be an indispensable condition, for entering a person’s domicile, that it be done by the proper competent authority, under a written order or resolution, an authentic copy of which shall be left with the occupant, his relatives or the nearest neighbour, according to circumstances. When the authorities delegate any of their agents for the purpose, the same procedure shall be followed.

35. The profession of all religions, as well as the exercise of all cults, is unrestricted, without other limitation than respect for Christian morality and public order.

The Church shall be separate from the State, which can not subsidise any cult.

36. Every person is entitled to address petitions to the authorities and to have them attended to and decided in periods not greater than 45 days, with notice of the decision made.

On lapse of the period fixed by law, or, if there is none, of the period above specified, the interested party can appeal in the manner authorised by law, as if his petition had been denied.

37. The inhabitants of the Republic are entitled to assemble peacefully and without arms, to parade and associate themselves for all lawful purposes of life, in accordance with the relevant legislation, without other limitation than that necessary to insure public order.

The formation and existence of political organisations contrary to the régime of the democratic representative government of the Republic, or which attack the completeness of the national sovereignty, are unlawful.

38. Every act which prohibits or limits the participation of citizens in the political life of the Nation is declared punishable.

39. Only Cuban citizens can exercise public functions which involve jurisdiction.

40. Legal or administrative provisions, or those of any other kind, which regulate the exercise of the rights which this Constitution guarantees, shall be null if they diminish, restrict or impair them.

Reasonable action for the protection of the individual rights above guaranteed is legitimate.

The right of action to prosecute infringements of this Title is public, without surety or formality of any kind, and by a simple denunciation.

The enumeration of the rights guaranted in this Title does not exclude the others that this Constitution establishes, nor others of analogous nature or that are derived from the principle of the sovereignty of the people and from the republican form of government.


Section 2.—Constitutional Guarantees

41. The guarantees of the rights recognised in Articles 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 (first and second paragraphs), 32, 33, 36 and 37 (first paragraph) of this Constitution can be suspended, in all or a part of the national territory, for a period not to exceed 45 calendar days, when the safety of the Nation requires it, or in case of war or of invasion of the national territory, serious disturbance of order or others which deeply disturb public peace.

Suspension of constitutional guarantees can be ordered only by means of a special law passed by Congress or by a Decree of the Chief Executive; but in the latter case, Congress must be called in the same Decree of suspension, to meet within a period of 48 hours, to the end that, sitting as a single body, it may ratify or not ratify the suspension by a roll-call majority vote. If Congress thus assembled votes against the suspension, the guarantees shall be automatically re-established.

42. The territory in which the guarantees referred to in the preceding Article are suspended, shall be governed by the Public Order Law previously enacted; but neither the said Law nor any other can direct the suspension of guarantees other than those mentioned. Neither can new crimes be declared or other penalties be imposed beyond those established by law when the suspension is ordered.

Those arrested for the reasons which led to the suspension must be imprisoned in special places intended for persons indicted or penalised for political or social crimes.

The Executive Branch is prohibited from detaining any person whatever for more than 10 days, without delivering him to the judicial authorities.


Title V.—The Family and Culture

Section 1.—The Family

43. The family, maternity and marriage have the protection of the Nation.

Marriage shall be valid only when performed by officers with legal capacity to do so. Judicial matrimony is gratis and shall be maintained by law.

Matrimony is the legal basis of the family and shall rest on an absolute equality of rights for both spouses; its economic régime shall be organised in accordance with this principle.

A married woman has full civil capacity, and does not require permission or authorisation from her husband to control her property, freely engage in commerce or industry, or exercise any profession, trade or art, and to dispose of the proceeds of her labour.

Marriage can be dissolved by agreement of the spouses or on petition of either of the two for the reasons and in the manner established by law.

The courts shall determine those cases in which, for reasons of equity, a union between persons with legal capacity to marry shall, because of their stability and exceptional nature, be given the same status as civil marriage.

Living allowances for the woman and the children shall enjoy preference over every other obligation, and against that preference no plea can be made of exemption of property, salary, pension or economic income of any kind.

Unless the woman has proven means of subsistence, or is declared guilty, an allowance shall be fixed for her in proportion to the financial position of the husband and also taking into account the needs of social life. This allowance shall be paid and guaranteed by the divorced husband and shall continue until his ex-spouse again marries, without detriment to the allowance that will be fixed for each child, which must also be guaranteed.

Adequate penalties shall be imposed by law on those who, in case of divorce, of separation or for any other reason, seek to escape or evade that responsibility.

44. Parents are obliged to support, aid, train and educate their children, and the latter to respect and aid their parents. The law shall see to the fulfilment of these duties by adequate guarantees and penalties.

Children born out of wedlock to a person who at the time of conception was competent to marry have the same rights and duties as specified in the preceding paragraph, except as to what the law prescribes with respect to inheritance. To this end, the same rights shall pertain to those born out of wedlock to a married person, when such person acknowledges them, or the relationship is declared by a court decision. Investigation of paternity shall be regulated by law.

All qualifications as to the nature of the relationship are abolished. No statement whatever shall be entered, differentiating births, nor as to the marital status of the parents, in the birth records, nor in any certification, record of christening or certificate referring to the relationship.

45. The fiscal régime, insurance and social aid shall be applied in accordance with the standards of protection for the family, established in this Constitution.

Childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and moral and material abandonment. The Nation, Provinces and Municipalities shall organise adequate institutions for the purpose.

46. Subject to the restrictions specified in this Constitution, Cubans shall be at liberty to bequeath one-half of the estate.


Section 2.—Culture

47. Culture in all of its manifestations is a primary interest of the Nation. Scientific investigation, artistic expression and the publication of the results thereof are unrestricted; as is teaching, without prejudice, with respect to the last-named, to the inspection and regulation to which the Nation is entitled and which is established by law.

48. Primary instruction is obligatory for minors of school age, and it shall be furnished by the Nation, without prejudice to the co-operation entrusted to municipal initiative.

Both this instruction and preprimary and vocational instruction shall be gratis when given by the Nation, Province or Municipality. The necessary school supplies shall also be gratis.

Lower secondary instruction and all higher instruction furnished by the Nation or the Municipalities shall be gratis, excluding specialised pre-university and university study.

At the Institutes now created or which may be created in future, having a pre-university status, there can be maintained or established by law the payment of a modest matriculation fee by way of co-operation, which shall be devoted to the requirements of each establishment.

So far as possible, the Republic shall offer scholarships for the enjoyment of official instruction that is not gratis, to youths who, having shown outstanding vocation and aptitude, are prevented by insufficient resources from undertaking such studies for their own account.

49. The Nation shall maintain a system of schools for adults, devoted particularly to the elimination and prevention of illiteracy: predominantly practical rural schools, organised with a view to the interests of the small agricultural, maritime or other communities, and schools of arts and trades and of agricultural, industrial and commercial technique, so organised that they will meet the needs of the national economy. All of this instruction shall be gratis, and the Provinces and Municipalities, to the extent of their abilities, shall collaborate in their maintenance.

50. The Nation shall maintain the normal schools indispensable for the technical preparation of the teachers charged with the primary instruction in the public schools. No other institution can issue titles to primary teachers, with the exception of the Schools of Pedagogy of the Universities.

The foregoing provisions are no bar to the right of schools created by law to issue teaching titles in connection with the special matters which they teach.

The teaching titles of special capacity shall carry the right to preferential appointment to positions that are vacant or are created in the respective schools and specialities.

In order to teach domestic science, cutting and fitting, and industries for women, it is necessary to possess the title of teacher of economy, arts, domestic sciences and industries, issued by the “Escuela del Hogar” (Domestic science school).

51. Public instruction shall be organised in a systematic form, so that there will be an adequate articulation and continuity among all its grades, including the higher ones. The official system shall provide for vocational stimulation and development, bearing in mind the multiplicity of professions and taking into account the cultural and practical needs of the Nation.

All instruction, public or private, shall be inspired by a spirit of Cubanism and human solidarity, tending to form in the conscience of students a love for country, its democratic institutions and all those who fought for the former and the latter.

52. Financial provision for all public instruction shall be made in the budgets of the Nation, the Province or the Municipality, and it shall be under the technical and administrative direction of the Ministry of Education, except such teaching as by its special nature is dependent on other Ministries.

The Budget of the Ministry of Education shall not be less than the ordinary budget of any other Ministry, except in case of an emergency declared by law.

The monthly salary of primary teachers must not in any case be less than one-millioneth of the total budget of the Nation.

The official teaching staff has the rights and duties of public officers.

The nomination, promotions, transfers and removal of public teachers and professors, inspectors, technicians and other school officers shall be so regulated that they shall be influenced by no considerations other than strictly technical ones, without detriment to vigilance as to the morals of such officers. All positions in the direction and supervision of official primary instruction shall be filled by technical graduates of the corresponding University course.

53. The University of Havana is autonomous and shall be governed in accordance with its Statutes and with the law, to which the Statutes must conform.

The Nation shall contribute to create the University patrimony and to the maintenance of said University, allotting for this purpose, in its national budgets, the amount fixed by law.

54. Official or private universities can be created, and any other institutions and centres of higher learning. The conditions by which they will be regulated shall be determined by law.

55. Official instruction shall be laic. Centres of private instruction shall be subject to regulation and inspection by the Nation, but in every case shall retain the right to give, separately from the technical instruction, the religious education which they desire.

56. In all teaching centres, public or private, the teaching of the literature, history and geography of Cuba, as well as of civics and the Constitution, must be done by teachers who are Cubans by birth and with text books of authors having that same character.

57. To engage in teaching, it is necessary to evidence the capacity to do so, in the manner fixed by law.

The non-teaching professions, arts or trades that require degrees for their exercise, and the manner in which they shall be obtained, shall be determined by law. The Nation shall insure preference, in the furnishing of public services, to citizens officially prepared for the respective specialty.

58. The Nation shall regulate by law the conservation of the cultural treasures of the Nation, its artistic and historic wealth, and shall especially protect national monuments and places notable for their natural beauty or their acknowledged artistic or historic value.

59. A National Council on Education and Culture shall be created, which, under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Education, shall be charged with developing, technically orienting or inspecting the educational, scientific and artistic activities of the Nation.

Its opinion shall be heard by Congress on every bill relating to matters of its competency.

Positions on the National Council on Education and Culture shall be honorary and gratuitous.


Title VI.—Labour and Property

Section 1. Labour

60. To work is an inalienable right of the individual. The Nation shall employ the resources within its reach to furnish employment to every one who lacks it and shall assure to every manual or intellectual worker the economic conditions necessary to a fitting existence.

61. Every manual or intellectual worker of public or private enterprises, the Nation, Provinces or Municipalities, shall be guaranteed a minimum wage or salary, which shall be determined in accordance with the conditions of each region and the normal needs of the worker, from a material, moral and cultural standpoint, and considering him as the head of a family.

The method of periodically regulating minimum wages or salaries, by means of commissions on which employers and workers shall be equally represented, for each branch of labour, in accordance with the standard of living and the peculiarities of each region and each industrial, commercial or agricultural activity, shall be determined by law.

In piece work, work for an agreed price or a lump sum, it shall be obligatory that the minimum wage for a working day be reasonably assured.

The minimum of every wage or salary is non-attachable, except for liabilities for living allowances in the manner established by law. Instruments of labour of the workers are also non-attachable.

62. A like wage shall always be paid for like work under identical conditions, regardless of the persons who perform it.

63. No deduction not established by law can be made from the salary or wages of manual and intellectual workers.

Claims in favour of workers for pay and day wages earned in the last year shall have preference over all others.

64. Payment in “vales”, tokens, merchandise or any other symbols by which it is sought to substitute legal tender money is totally prohibited. Violation shall be penalised by law.

Day workers shall receive their wages in a period of not exceeding one week.

65. Social security is established as an irrenounceable and non-proscribable right of workers, with the equitable agreement of the Nation, employers and the workers themselves, in order to protect the last-named in an efficacious manner against disability, old age, unemployment and other contingencies of labour, in the manner determined by law. The right of retirement for long service and that of pension by reason of death are also established.

The administration and government of the institution referred to in the first paragraph of this Article shall be in charge of bodies chosen by employers and workers, on which they shall be equally represented and with the participation of a representative of the Nation, in the manner determined by law, except in case the Nation creates a Social Security Bank.

Insurance against labour accidents and occupational diseases is likewise declared obligatory, exclusively at the expense of employers and under supervision of the Nation.

Social security funds or reserves cannot be subjected to transfer nor can they be disposed of for purposes other than those for which they were created.

66. A maximum day’s work cannot exceed 8 hours. This maximum can be reduced to 6 hours daily for those over 14 and less than 18 years of age.

The maximum working week shall be 44 hours, equivalent to 48 in wages, excepting the industries which because of their nature, must produce uninterruptedly during a certain part of the year, until a definite ruling on this exception is determined by law.

Work and apprenticeship of minors of less than 14 years is prohibited.

67. The right to paid vacation of one month for each 11 months of work in each calendar year is established for all manual and intellectual workers. Those who, because of the nature of their work or other circumstances, have not worked the 11 months, are entitled to paid rest in proportion to the time worked.

When on a national day of mourning or holiday the workmen do not work, employers must pay them the corresponding wages.

There shall be only 4 national days of mourning and holidays on which it shall be obligatory to close industrial or commercial establishments or public spectacles, as the case may be. The others shall be official days of mourning or holidays and shall be celebrated without suspending the economic activities of the Nation.

68. No difference can be established between married and unmarried women with respect to their work.

Protection for maternity among the working class shall be regulated by law, which shall extend it to women employees.

A pregnant woman cannot be discharged from her work, nor shall she be required in the 3 months prior to childbirth, to do work requiring considerable physical effort.

During the 6 weeks immediately preceding childbirth, and the 6 that follow it, she shall enjoy compulsory rest, with compensation equal to what she was paid for working, retaining her position and all the rights attached to it and covered by her labour contract. In the nursing period she shall be allowed two special rest periods a day, of one-half hour each, to nurse her child.

69. The right of syndicalisation is acknowledged to employers, private employees and workers, for the exclusive purposes of their economic-social activities.

The competent authority shall have a period of 30 days to admit or reject the recording of a labour or employer syndicate. The record shall determine the juridical capacity of the labour or employer syndicate. The recognition of the syndicate by employers and workers, respectively, shall be regulated by law.

Syndicates cannot be definitely dissolved without a final decision of the courts.

Boards of directors of these associations shall be composed exclusively of Cubans by birth.

70. Compulsory official association is established for the exercise of professions requiring university degrees. The manner of constitution and functioning in such entities, of a superior body of a national character, and of the local bodies that are necessary, in such manner that they will be governed by the majority of their associates, with full authority, shall be determined by law.

Obligatory association of the other professions officially recognised by the Nation shall also be regulated by law.

71. The right of workers to strike, and of employers to stop work, is recognised, in conformity with regulations which will be established by law for the exercise of both rights.

72. The system of collective labour contracts, which employers and workers are compelled to execute, shall be regulated by law.

Stipulations implying renunciation, diminution, impairment or waiver of any right recognised in favour of the worker, in this Constitution or by law, shall be null and shall not be binding on the contracting parties, even though they are expressed in a labour contract or any other pact whatever.

73. Cubans by birth shall be given a preponderating participation in labour, both in the total amount of wages and salaries, and in the different categories of work, in the manner determined by law.

Protection shall also be given to naturalised Cubans with a family born in the national territory, in preference to naturalised Cubans who do not meet those requirements, and in preference to foreigners.

In the holding of indispensable technical posts, foreigners shall be excepted from the provisions in the foregoing paragraphs, subject to the formalities specified by law and always on the condition of teaching native apprentices the technical work in question.

74. The Minister of Labour shall see, as an essential part among others of his permanent social policy, that in the distribution of opportunities to work in industry and commerce, no discriminatory practices of any kind prevail. In removals of personnel and in the creation of new positions, as well as in new factories, industries or businesses that are established, it shall be obligatory to distribute the opportunities for work without distinction as to race or colour, provided the necessary qualifications as to ability are met. It shall be provided by law that every other practice shall be punishable and prosecutable on Official initiative or at the instance of an affected party.

715. The formation of co-operative enterprises, whether commercial, agricultural, industrial, of consumption, or of any other character, shall be favoured by law: but the definition, constitution and functioning of such enterprises shall be so regulated by law that they shall not serve to evade or impair the provisions which this Constitution establishes for the labour regimen.

76. Immigration shall be regulated by law, taking into consideration the national economic régime and social needs. Importation of contract labourers is prohibited, as is all immigration that tends to reduce working conditions to a low level.

77. No enterprise can discharge a worker without due proceedings and the other formalities established by law, which shall determine the just causes for discharge.

78. An employer shall be responsible for compliance with social laws, even when he contracts the work through an intermediary.

In all industries and kinds of work in which technical knowledge is required, apprenticeship in the form established by law shall be obligatory.

79. The Nation shall promote the building of cheap dwellings for workers.

The law shall determine the enterprises which, because they employ workers away from populated places, shall be required to furnish to the workers suitable dwellings, schools, infirmaries and other services and attentions favourable to the physical and moral welfare of the worker and his family.

The conditions that must be met by shops, factories and working premises of all kinds shall in like manner be regulated by law.

80. A social welfare service shall be established under the direction of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, organising it by means of the relevant legislation, and providing the necessary reserves through funds determined by law.

The hospital, sanitary, forensic and other careers are established that are necessary to organise in an adequate manner the Corresponding official services.

Beneficient institutions of the Nation, Provinces and MuniciPalities shall furnish their services gratuitously only to paupers.

81. Mutuality is recognised as a social principle and practice.

Its functioning shall be regulated by law in such manner that persons of modest resources shall enjoy its benefits, and it will serve, at the same time, as a just and adequate protection to professional men.

82. Professions which require an official title, with the exception of what is provided in Article 57 of this Constitution, can be practiced only by Cubans by birth and the naturalised ones who were naturalised 5 years or more prior to the date on which they apply for authorisation to practice. Congress can, nevertheless, by a special law, provide for the temporary suspension of this rule when, for reasons of public utility, the co-operation of foreign professional men or technicians is necessary or advisable in carrying out public or private enterprises of national interest. The law which so provides shall fix the scope and term of the authorisation.

In the fulfilment of this precept, and in the cases in which a law or regulation regulates the exercise of any new profession, art or trade, the right to work acquired by persons who up to that time had practiced the profession, art or trade in question, shall be respected and the principles of international reciprocity shall be observed.

83. The manner in which factories and shops can be moved from one place to another shall be regulated by law, for the purpose of preventing the lowering of working conditions.

84. Problems arising from the relations between capital and labour shall be submitted to conciliation commissions, composed of an equal number of representatives of employers and workers. The judicial officer who will preside over the said commissions and the national court to which its resolutions shall be appealable, shall be specified by law.

85. In order to ensure execution of social legislation, the Nation shall provide for vigilance over and the inspection of the enterprises.

86. The enumeration of the rights and benefits to which this Section refers does not exclude others that are derived from the principle of social justice, and they shall be equally applicable to all factors existing in the process of production.

Section 2.—Property

87. The Cuban Nation recognises the existence and legitimacy of private property in its broadest concept as a social function and without other limitations than those which, for reasons of public necessity or social interest, are established by law.

88. The sub-soil belongs to the Nation, which can grant concessions for its exploitation, as established by law. Mining rights granted and not exploited within the period fixed by law shall be declared null and restored to the Nation.

The land, the forests, and concessions for exploitation of the sub-soil, utilisation of waters, means of transportation, and every other public service enterprise, must be exploited in a manner that tends to social well-being.

89. The Nation shall have the right, at every forced sale or award of real estate, and of securities representing real estate, to bid for them in competition with the most favourable terms offered by any other bidder.

90. Large landholdings are proscribed, and to do away with them the maximum amount of land that each person or entity can have, for each kind of exploitation to which land is devoted, and bearing in mind the respective peculiarities, shall be specified by law.

The acquisition and possession of land by foreign persons and companies shall be restrictively limited by law, which shall provide measures tending to restore the land to Cubans.

91. The head of a family who inhabits, cultivates and directly exploits a rural property owned by him, provided the value of it is not more than $2,000, can irrevocably declare it to be family property, to the extent that this is indispensable for his residence and subsistence, and it shall be exempt from taxes and shall be unattachable and inalienable except for liabilities prior to this Constitution. Improvements which exceed the aforesaid amount shall pay the corresponding taxes in the manner established by law. In order that the said property may be exploited, its owner can encumber or pledge crops, plantings, produce and products thereof.

92. Every author or inventor shall enjoy the exclusive ownership of his work or invention, with the limitations, as to time and manner specified by law. Concessions for industrial and commercial marks (trademarks) and other recognitions of commercial reputation, with indications of Cuban origin, shall be null if they are used in any manner to protect or cover articles manufactured outside of the national territory.

93. No perpetual encumbrances can be imposed on property, in the form of “censos’ and others of analogous nature, and their establishment is therefore prohibited. Congress shall, within a period of 3 sessions, approve a law regulating the liquidation of existing ones.

Censos” or encumbrances already established or that may be established for the benefit of the Nation, the Province or the Municipality, or in favour of public institutions of all kinds or of private beneficent institutions, are excepted from the provisions of the foregoing paragraph.

94. It is an obligation of the Nation to take a census of the population each 10 years, that will reflect all economic and social activities of the country, and also to publish regularly a statistical annual.

95. Property of beneficent institutions is declared nonproscribable.

96. Parcels of land that were donated by persons of the old Spanish nobility for the foundation of a town or city and were actually used for that purpose, acquiring the character of a Municipality, but were subsequently occupied or recorded by the heirs or successors of the donor, are declared of public utility and consequently subject to expropriation by the Nation, Province or Municipality.

Residents of said town or city who possess buildings or occupy lots in the urbanised part can obtain from the expropriating entity the conveyance of the ownership and possession of the lots or parcels they occupy, by means of payment of the corresponding proportional price.


Title VII.—Suffrage and Public Office

Section 1.—Suffrage

97. Universal, equal and secret suffrage is established for all Cuban citizens, as a right, duty and function.

This function shall be obligatory; and every one who fails to vote at an election or referendum, except for a reason admitted by law, shall be subject to the penalties imposed on him by law and shall be ineligible to hold any magistracy or public office of any kind for 2 years from the date of the infraction.

98. Through the medium of a referendum the people shall express its opinion on the questions submitted to it.

At every election or referendum, decision shall be by majority of validly cast ballots, with the exceptions established in this Constitution. The result shall be made public in an official manner as soon as it is known to the competent body.

Votes shall be counted solely and exclusively for the person in whose favour they were cast, and cannot be accumulated with those of another candidate. In addition, in cases of proportional representation, the votes cast in favour of candidates shall be counted to determine the party factor.

99. All Cubans of both sexes, over 20 years of age, are voters, with the exception of the following:

(a) Occupants of asylums.

(b) Those who are mentally incompetent, after judicial declaration of their incompetency.

(c) Those who are judicially disqualified because of crime.

(d) Individuals belonging to the armed forces or the police, who are in active service.

100. The Electoral Code shall provide for an identity certificate with the photograph of the voter, his signature and fingerprints, and the other requisites necessary for best identification.

101. Every form of coercion to compel a citizen to join a party, vote, or state his will at any electoral operation is punishable.

This infringement shall be punished, and when the coercion is exercised, personally or through an intermediary, by any authority or his agent, officer or employee, a double penalty shall be applied, in addition to imposing that of permanent disqualification to hold public office.

102. The organisation of political parties and associations is unrestricted. Political groups based on race, sex or class cannot, however, be formed.

For the organisation of new political parties it is indispensable to present, with the corresponding application, a number of members equal to or greater than two per centum of the corresponding electoral census, according to whether they are national, provincial or municipal parties. A political party which at a general or special election does not obtain a number of votes representing the said percentage shall cease to be such and shall be automatically removed from the Register of Political Parties. A ticket can be presented only by the political parties which, having a number of members not less than that fixed in this Article, have been organised or reorganised, as the case may be, prior to the election.

Political parties shall be reorganised in a single day, 6 months prior to each presidential election, or election for governors, and for mayors or councilmen, or for delegates to a Constitutional Convention. The Superior Electoral Court shall, on its own initiative, remove from the Register of Political Parties those which are not reorganised at that time.

The Party Assemblies shall retain all of their faculties and can not be dissolved except by lawful reorganisation. In every case they shall be the sole bodies charged with making nominations, which faculty can not be delegated in any case.

103. Rules and procedures guaranteeing the participation of minorities in the preparation of the census of voters, in the organisation and reorganisation of political associations and parties, and in the other electoral operations shall be established by law, which shall ensure their representation on the electoral bodies of the Nation, Provinces and Municipalities.

104. All provisions modifying electoral legislation which are issued after an election or referendum has been called, or prior to the time those elected take possession, or the definitive result of the referendum is known, are null.

Modifications expressly requested by the Superior Electoral Court and passed by two-thirds of Congress, are excepted from this prohibition.

From the calling of elections until the taking of possession of those elected, the Superior Electoral Court shall have jurisdiction over the armed forces and over the police forces, for the sole purpose of guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral procedure.


Section 2.—Public Offices

105. Public officers, employees and workers are those who, after demonstrating their capabilities and fulfilling the other requirements and formalities established by law, are appointed by competent authority to perform public functions or services, whether receiving or not receiving a salary or wage as a charge to the budgets of the Nation, a Province or a Municipality, or from autonomous bodies.

106. Civil public officers, employees and workers of all branches of the Nation, those of the Provinces, the Municipalities, and the autonomous entities or corporations, are servants exclusively of the general interests of the Republic and their non-removability is guaranteed by this Constitution, with the exception of those who hold political offices and positions of confidence.

107. Political offices and positions of confidence are:

(a) Ministers and Assistant Secretaries of Departments, Ambassadors, Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary, and, in the cases in which they are not declared by law to be technicians, Directors-General.

(b) All personnel attached to the immediate private office of Ministers and Assistant Secretaries of Departments.

(c) Private secretaries of officers.

(d) Secretaries of Provincial and Municipal administrations, heads of departments of these bodies, and the personnel attached to the immediate private offices of Governors and Mayors.

(e) Civil public officers, employees and workers appointed temporarily as a charge to contingent allotments, the duration of which is not for a full fiscal year.

108. Entry into and promotion in public offices not excepted in the preceding Article, can be obtained only after the applicants have fulfilled the requirements and undergone, in competition as to their merits, the tests of ability and capacity that shall be established by law, except in those cases in which, because of the nature of the functions in question, they are declared by law to be exempt.

109. No administrative penalties can be imposed on public officers, employees and workers without prior proceedings, in which the interested party shall be heard, and subject to the appeals that shall be established by law. The proceedings shall aways be summary ones.

110. A public officer, employee or worker who substitutes for one removed from his position, shall be considered to be a temporary substitute until the situation of the one substituted is definitively resolved, and can invoke, in case of need, only the rights to which he is entitled in the position from which he comes.

111. Compulsory leave can be declared only by consolidation or elimination of positions, respecting the seniority of those occupying them. Those on leave shall have a preferential right, based on seniority, to occupy positions of equal or analogous functions that are established or become vacant in the same category, or in the immediately lower one.

112. No one can simultaneously hold more than one office that is compensated, directly or indirectly, by the Nation, a Province, a Municipality, or autonomous entities or corporations, with the exception of the cases specified by this Constitution.

Pensions or retirement allowances of the Nation, Provinces and Municipalities are dependent on the needs of their beneficiaries. Those who have property of their own can receive only the part of the pension or retirement allowance that is necessary in order that, when added to their own income, it does not exceed the maximum pension that shall be fixed by law. The same criterion shall be applied to the receipt of more than one pension.

No one can effectively receive, for any reason whatever, a pension or retirement allowance of more than $2,400 per annum, and the scale for their payment shall be unified and extended to all pensions or retirement allowances.

Persons now enjoying pensions or retirement allowances greater than $2,400 per annum, shall not effectively receive a greater annual amount.

Members of the Army of Liberation of Cuba, their widows and children entitled to a pension, are excepted from the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs, as an act of homage of the Republic to its liberators.

113. Monthly payment of retirement allowances and pensions for services rendered to the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, in the proportion permitted by the condition of the public treasury, which shall in no case be less than 50 per cent. of the lawful basic amount, shall be an obligation of the Nation.

The amounts for retirement allowances and pensions shall be included each year in the general budget of the Nation.

No pension or retirement allowance shall be less than the minimum daily wage in force by virtue of what is established in Article 61 of this Constitution.

Retirement allowances and pensions of officers and employees of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, comprised in the general pension law in force, shall be paid at the same time that officers and employees in active service receive their pay, the Nation, Provinces and Municipalities, as the case may be, being obliged to raise the necessary resources to meet this obligation.

Payment of pensions to veterans of the War for Independence, and to their families, shall be considered to have priority over every other obligation of the Nation.

114. Entry into the notarial career and into the body of Registrars of Property shall in future be by competitive examination regulated by law.

115. The accumulation and management of social retirement funds can be independent, in the manner determined by law; but within 4 sessions following the promulgation of this Constitution, Congress shall enact a law establishing the rules of a general character by which all existing retirement allowances and pensions, or any that are created in future, shall be governed, with reference to benefits, contributions, minimum requisites and guarantees.

116. To resolve questions relative to public services, a body of an autonomous character is created, which shall be named the Board of Public Offices, which shall be composed of 7 members, comprising as follows:

One, by the full bench of the Supreme Court, who must have the same qualifications as are required to be a member of said court.

One, nominated by the President of the Republic, on resolution of the Cabinet, who must be of recognised experience in administrative questions.

One, designated by Congress, who must hold an academic degree issued by an official body.

One, designated by the University Council, from a list of three names submitted for the purpose by the Faculty of Social Sciences, of which he must be a graduate.

One, by the employees of the Nation.

One, by Provincial employees, and

One, by Municipal employees.

The last 3 members must have acknowledged experience in their respective branches.

A resolution issued by the Board of Public Offices shall be final from an administrative standpoint, and shall be immediately enforceable, without prejudice to the appeals established by law.

117. The corresponding penalties for those who infringe the regulations contained in this Section shall be established by law.


Title VIII.—Branches of the Nation

118. The Nation exercises its functions through the medium of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches and the bodies recognised in the Constitution, or which in accordance therewith are established by law.

The Provinces and Municipalities, in addition to performing their own functions, shall aid in the accomplishment of the purposes of the Nation.


Title IX.—The Legislative Branch

Section 1.—The Co-legislative Bodies

119. The Legislative power shall be exercised by two bodies known as House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, which jointly shall be called Congress.

Section 2.—The Senate, its Composition and Functions

120. The Senate is composed of 9 Senators for each Province, elected in each one for a period of 4 years, by universal, equal, direct secret suffrage, on a single day and in the manner determined by law.

121. To be a Senator it is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth.

(b) To be at least 30 years of age.

(c) To have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

(d) Not to have been a member of the armed forces of the Republic, in active service, during the 2 years immediately prior to the date of his designation as a candidate.

122. The functions of the Senate are:

(a) To sit as a court, to try the President of the Republic when he is accused by the House of Representatives of a crime against the external safety of the Nation, against the unrestricted operation of the legislative or judicial branches, or infringement of constitutional precepts.

To act in this capacity it shall be necessary that the accusation formulated by the House of Representatives have been resolved upon by two-thirds of its members.

For the purposes of this Article, the court shall be composed of the members of the Senate and all members of the Supreme Court, presided over by the person who is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the time.

(b) To sit as a court, to try members of the Cabinet when they are accused by the House of Representatives of a crime against the external safety of the Nation, against the unrestricted functioning of the legislative or judicial branches, of infringement of constitutional precepts, or any other crime of a political character determined by law.

(c) To sit as a court, to try Provincial Governors, when they are accused by the Provincial Council or by the President of the Republic on resolution of the Cabinet, of any of the crimes specified in the preceding paragraph.

In all cases in which the Senate sits as a court it shall be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It cannot impose on the accused any penalty other than that of removal from office or removal from and disqualification to hold public office, without prejudice to the imposition on them, by the regular courts, of any other penalty that they have incurred.

(d) To approve the appointments made, with the advice of the Cabinet, by the President of the Republic, of heads of permanent diplomatic missions and other officers whose appointment requires its approval, according to law.

(e) To approve the appointments of members of the Tribunal of Accounts of the Nation.

(f) To appoint investigating committees. These shall have the number of members resolved upon by the Senate, the right to summon both private individuals and public officers and authorities to appear before them and testify, and to solicit the data and documents they deem necessary for the purposes of the investigation.

It is the duty of the courts, administrative authorities and private individuals to furnish to the investigating committees all the information and documents they request. To authorise these committees, a favourable vote of two-thirds of the members of the Senate shall be required when the investigation concerns the Government activities. In any other case, the favourable vote of one more than half shall be sufficient.

(g) To authorise Cubans to enter the military service of a foreign country or to accept from another government an employment or honour that carries with it authority or jurisdiction of its own.

(h) To approve the treaties negotiated by the President of the Republic with other nations.

(i) To request the attendance of members of the Cabinet, to answer questions addressed to them, in accordance with the Constitution.

(j) To use other faculties emanating from this Constitution.


Section 3.—The House of Representatives, its Composition and Attributes

123. The House of Representatives shall be composed of one Representative for each 35,000 inhabitants or fraction in excess of 17,500. Representatives shall be elected by Provinces, for a period of 4 years, by universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage, on a single day and in the manner prescribed by law. The numerical basis of representation in each Province shall be determined by law, in accordance with the latest official national census of population.

One-half of the House of Representatives shall be renewed each 2 years.

124. To be a Representative it is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth or by naturalisation, and in the latter case to have resided continuously 10 years in the Republic, counted from the date of naturalisation.

(b) To be at least 21 years of age.

(c) To have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

(d) Not to have belonged to the armed forces of this Republic in action service, during the 2 years immediately prior to the date of his designation as a candidate.

125. The functions of the House of Representatives are:

(a) To accuse the President of the Republic and the members of the Cabinet, before the Senate, in the cases determined in Sections (a) and (b) of Article 122, when two-thirds of the total number of Representatives resolve on the accusation at a secret session.

(b) To have priority in the discussion and approval of the general budget of the nation.

(c) All other faculties granted it by this Constitution.

Section 4.—Provisions common to the Co-legislative Bodies

126. The offices of Senator and Representative are incompatible with any other that is compensated as a charge on the Nation, the Provinces or the Municipalities, or bodies maintained wholly or partly by public funds, excepting that of Minister of the Government and that of Professor in an official establishment, obtained prior to the election. Appointment as a member of the Cabinet can be given to members of the Legislative Branch, but in no case can the two positions be held by more than half of the members of the Cabinet.

Senators and Representatives shall receive compensation from the Nation, which shall be the same for both offices. The amount of this compensation can be changed at any time, but the change shall not be effective until the co-legislative bodies have been renewed.

127. Senators and Representatives shall be immune with respect to the opinions they express and the votes they cast in the exercise of their office.

Senators and Representatives can be arrested or indicted only by authorisation of the body to which they belong. If the Senate, or the House of Representatives, does not decide on an authorisation applied for, within 40 consecutive days when it is in session, and following receipt of the petition from the judge or court, the authorisation to institute the proceedings and to subject the Senator or Representative thereto shall be understood as granted. The cause shall not be prosecuted if the body to which the legislator belongs denies the authorisation to continue the proceedings.

A legislator can be arrested without the authorisation of the body to which he belongs if he is caught in the act of committing a crime. In this case, and if he is arrested or indicted when Congress is not in session, a report shall be made immediately to the presiding officer of the respective body, for the proper resolution, and he must immediately call a special session of the co-legislative body in question, to decide exclusively on the authorisation requested by the judge or court. If it is not refused within 20 regular meetings held, beginning from that notification, it shall be understood that authorisation is granted.

Every resolution granting or denying a request for authorisation to indict or arrest a member of Congress must be preceded by the reading of the facts that are to serve as a basis for the resolution that is adopted by the respective co-legislative body.

128. The Senate and House of Representatives shall open and close their sessions on the same day, shall sit in the same place, and cannot remove to another place, or suspend their sessions for more than 3 days, except by a joint resolution.

The session cannot be opened nor can meetings be held without the presence of one more than half of the total number of the members of each body. The presence of a quorum shall be determined by a roll call.

Parliamentary immunity shall not comprise or protect acts connected with the veracity and legitimacy of minutes or with the formalities prescribed for the approval of laws.

Bills must in every case be submitted to a prior roll-call vote on the bill as a whole.

No bill can be voted on in a co-legislative body without there first being a reasoned report thereon by at least one committee of that body.

129. Each co-legislative body shall decide regarding the validity of the election of its respective members and the resignations presented by them. No Senator or Representative can be expelled from the body to which he belongs except by virtue of a cause previously determined and by a resolution of at least two-thirds of the total number of its members.

Each legislative body shall draw up its own rules and shall elect from among its members its President, Vice-Presidents and Secretaries. The President of the Senate shall preside over meetings only when the Vice-President of the Republic is absent.

130. No Senator or Representative can hold property of the Nation under lease, directly or indirectly, or obtain contracts or concessions of any kind from the Nation.

Nor can he hold the position of counsel or director, or any office whatever involving jurisdiction, in a foreign enterprise or one the business of which is bound up in any manner with an entity having that status.

131. The relations between the Senate and the House of Representatives, not provided for in this Constitution, shall be governed by the Law of Relations between the 2 co-legislative bodies. An appeal regarding an unconstitutional matter shall lie against any resolution that violates the said Law.

Section 5.—Congress and its attributes

132. Congress shall assemble, in its own right and without necessity fora call, twice a year. It shall not function less than 60 business days, in each one of the sessions, nor more than 140 days in both together. One session shall begin the third Monday in September and the other the third Monday in March.

The Senate and the House of Representatives shall meet in special session in the cases and in the manner determined by their rules or established by the Constitution or by law, and when the President of the Republic calls them in accordance with this Constitution. In the said cases only the matter or matters giving rise to the special session shall be treated.

133. The Senate and the House of Representatives shall sit as a single body:

(a) To proclaim the President and Siew President of the Republic, on the strength of the respective election certificate submitted by the Superior Electoral Court.

If this certificate shows a tie between two or more candidates, Congress shall proceed to elect the President from among the candidates who received equal votes in the general election.

If there is a tie in Congress also, another ballot shall be taken, and if this is likewise a tie, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

The procedure established in the preceding paragraphs shall be applicable to the Vice-President of the Republic.

(b) In the other cases established by the Law of Relations between the two co-legislative bodies.

When the Senate and the House of Representatives sit as a single body, the President of the Senate, in his character of President of Congress, shall preside, and, in his absence, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as Vice-President of said Congress.

134. The following are non-transferable functions of Congress:

(a) To draw up codes and laws of a general character; to determine the regimen of elections; to enact provisions relative to the national, the provincial and the municipal administrations, and to pass all other laws and resolutions that it deems advisable on any other matters of public interest or that are necessary for the effectiveness of this Constitution.

(b) To establish the taxes and imposts of a national character that are necessary for the needs of the Nation.

(c) To discuss and approve the budget of expenditures and revenues of the Nation.

(d) To resolve as to the annual reports presented by the Tribunal of Accounts, with respect to the liquidation of the budget, the state of the public debt and the national finances.

(e) To decide regarding loans, but with the obligation to vote at the same time the permanent revenues necessary for payment of interest and amortization.

(f) To resolve what is relevant with respect to the minting of money, determining its standard, fineness, value and denomination, and to resolve what it deems necessary as to the issuance of fiduciary symbols and as to the banking and financial régime.

(g) To regulate the system of weights and measures.

(h) To enact provisions for the administration and development of domestic and foreign trade; of agriculture and industry, insurance covering labour and old age. maternity and unemployment.

(i) To regulate the services of communications, take care of the management of railroads, roads, canals and ports, and land, air and water traffic, creating those which public convenience requires.

(j) To fix the rules and procedures for obtaining naturalisation and regulating the regimen of foreigners.

(k) To grant amnesties in accordance with this Constitution.

Amnesties of common crimes can be resolved upon only by a favourable vote of two-thirds of the total membership of each one of the co-legislative bodies, ratified by a like number of votes in the following session.

Amnesties of political crimes require a like special vote if homicide or murder was committed in connection with them.

(l) To fix the strength of the armed forces and resolve on their organisation.

(m) To give or deny the Cabinet or any of its members a vote of confidence, in the manner and at the time determined by this Constitution.

(n) To summon the Cabinet or any of its members to reply to questions addressed to them. The summons must be issued by each co-legislative body, by notice to the President of the Republic and to the Prime Minister, 10 days in advance, specifying the matter to which the question applies.

The Minister summoned can be accompanied, when he is to reply to an interpellation or report on a Bill, by the advisers whom he designates, but these advisers shall limit themselves to giving the technical reports indicated by the Minister who has been interpellated or is reporting.

(o) To declare war and approve peace treaties negotiated by the President.

(p) To resolve on all laws directed by this Constitution and those which carry out the principles contained in its norms.

Section 6. The Initiation and Preparation of Laws, their Sanction and Promulgation

135. Initiative as to laws pertains to:

(a) Senators and Representatives, in accordance with the regulatory provisions of each body.

(b) To the Government.

(c) To the Supreme Court, in matters relative to the administration of justice.

(d) To the Superior Electoral Court in matters within its competency.

(e) To the Tribunal of Accounts in matters within its competency and jurisdiction.

(f) To citizens. In this case it shall be an indispensable requirement that the initiative be exercised by at least 10,000 citizens qualified to vote.

Every legislative initiative shall be prepared as a Bill and shall be submitted to one of the co-legislative bodies.

136. Laws are classified as regular and special.

Special laws are those which the Constitution indicates as such, organic laws and any others to which Congress gives that character. All others are regular laws.

Special laws require for their approval the favourable vote of one more than half of the members of each co-legislative body. Regular laws require only the favourable vote of a majority of those present at the meeting at which they are approved.

137. A Bill that obtains the approval of both co-legislative bodies shall necessarily be presented to the President of the Republic by the Presiding Officer of the body which gave final approval to it, within 10 days following said approval. The President of the Republic within 10 days after receiving the Bill, and after a resolution of the Cabinet, shall sanction and promulgate the law, or shall return it, with the objections that he deems proper, to the co-legislative body from which it came. When said body has received the Bill, it shall enter the objections integrally on the minutes, and shall proceed to discuss the Bill again.

If, after this discussion, two-thirds of the total number of members of the co-legislative body vote in favour of the Bill, it shall be sent, with the President’s objections, to the other body, which shall likewise discuss it, and if it approves the Bill by a like majority, it shall be a law.

In all of these cases, ballot shall be by roll-call.

If within the 10 business days following the sending of the Bill to the President, he does not return it, it shall be considered as sanctioned and shall be a law.

If within the last 10 days of a session, a Bill is presented to the President of the Republic, and he intends to utilise the full period with respect to approval granted him in the preceding paragraph, he shall make his intention known to Congress in a period of 48 hours, in order that it may remain in session, if it wishes, until the expiration of said period. If the President does not do so, the Bill shall be considered approved and shall be a law.

No Bill which is totally rejected by either of the co-legislative bodies can again be discussed during the same Session.

A Bill approved by one of the co-legislative bodies shall be preferentially discussed and resolved on by the other. This precept does not apply to special laws.

Every law shall be promulgated within 10 days following its approval.

Title X.—The Executive Power

Section 1.—The Exercise of the Executive Power

138. The President of the Republic is the Chief of the Nation and represents it. The Executive Power is exercised by the President of the Republic with the Cabinet, in accordance with what is established in this Constitution.

The President of the Republic acts as the directing and moderating power and the personification of national solidarity.

Section 2.—The President of the Republic, his Attributes and Duties

139. The President of the Republic is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth but if this status is a result of the provisions of Section (d) of Article 12 of this Constitution, it shall be necessary to have borne arms for Cuba, in its wars for independence, for at least 10 years.

(b) To be at least 35 years of age.

(c) To have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

(d) Not to have been connected with the armed forces of the Republic in active service during the year immediately prior to the date of his designation as a Presidential candidate.

140. The President of the Republic shall be elected by universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage, on a single day, for a period of 4 years, in accordance with the procedure to be established by law.

The count of ballots shall be made by Provinces. The candidate who obtains the greatest number of votes in each one of them, shall be credited with a number of provincial votes equal to the total of Senators and Representatives to be elected, according to law, by the voters of the respective Province, and the one who has the greatest number of provincial votes in the entire Republic shall be considered elected.

Anyone who has once held the office cannot again occupy it until 8 years after he ceased to hold it.

141. The President of the Republic, on taking possession of his office, shall swear or promise, before the Supreme Court, to exercise it faithfully, fulfilling and seeing to the fulfilment of the Constitution and the law.

142. It is the function of the President of the Republic, with the assistance of the Cabinet:

(a) To sanction and promulgate the laws, to execute them and see to their execution; to issue, when Congress has not done so, regulations for their best execution; and to issue the decrees and orders which are advisable for this purpose and for whatever is pertinent to the government and administration of the Nation, without in any case contravening what is established by law.

(b) To call special sessions of Congress, or of the Senate only, in the cases which this Constitution specifies, or when necessary.

(c) To suspend sessions of Congress when no agreement is reached for the purpose between the co-legislative bodies.

(d) To present to Congress, at the beginning of each session and whenever opportune, a message referring to the acts of administration, showing the general state of the Republic; and to recommend or initiate the adoption of the laws and resolutions that he considers necessary or useful.

(e) To present the proposed annual budget to the House of Representatives, 60 days prior to the date on which it should become effective.

(f) To furnish to Congress the information that it requests directly or by means of questions addressed to the Government, as to all kinds of matters which do not require secrecy.

(g) To direct diplomatic negotiations and to make treaties with other nations, which he must submit for the approval of the Senate, failing which they will not be valid or binding on the Republic.

(h) With the approval of the Senate, to appoint the Chief Justice, Presiding Justices of Sections and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, in the manner provided in this Constitution, as well as the heads of diplomatic missions.

(i) To appoint the corresponding officers to fill the other offices established by law, if their appointment is not a responsibility of other authorities.

(j) To suspend the exercise of the rights enumerated in Article 41 of this Constitution, in the cases and in the manner which it establishes.

(k) To grant pardons in accordance with what is prescribed by the Constitution and by law, except in the case of fraudulent electoral crimes. To pardon public officers and employees penalised for crimes committed in the exercise of their functions, it shall be necessary that they have served at least one third of the penalty imposed on them by the courts.

(l) To receive diplomatic representatives and accept consular agents of other nations.

(m) As their supreme head, to direct the armed forces of the Republic.

(n) To provide for defence of the national territory and preservation of internal order, making report to Congress. Whenever there is any danger of invasion, or when any rebellion seriously threatens the public security, and Congress is not in session, the President shall call it without delay for such resolution as may be proper.

(o) To execute and see to the execution of all rules, orders and provisions resolved upon and issued by the Superior Electoral Court.

(p) Freely to appoint and remove members of the Cabinet, reporting such action to Congress; to replace them when proper in accordance with this Constitution, and to subscribe those resolutions of the Cabinet that require it.

(q) To exercise the other functions expressly conferred on him by the Constitution and by law.

143. All decrees, orders and resolutions of the President of the Republic must be countersigned by the corresponding Minister, failing which they shall lack binding force. In the case of appointment of members of the Cabinet this countersignature shall not be necessary.

144. The President cannot leave the territory of the Republic without authority from Congress.

145. The President shall be responsible, before the full bench of the Supreme Court, for any common crimes that hecommits during the exercise of his office, but he cannot be indicted without prior authorisation from the Senate, resolved on by affirmative vote of two-thirds of its members. In this case, the Court shall decide whether it is proper to suspend him until sentence is pronounced.

146. The President shall receive from the Nation a compensation that can be changed at any time; but this change shall be effective only in the presidential periods following that in which it is resolved on.

Title XI.—The Vice-President of the Republic

147. There shall be a Vice-President of the Republic, who shall be elected in the same manner and for the same period of time as the President and jointly with him. To be VicePresident the same qualifications are required as are prescribed by this Constitution in order to be President.

148. The Vice-President of the Republic shall substitute for the President in cases of absence, incompetency or death. If the vacancy is definitive, the substitution shall continue until the end of the presidential term. In case of absence, incompetency or death of both, the President of Congress shall substitute for them for the rest of the term.

149. In any case in which the presidential substitutes established by this Constitution are lacking, the Presidency of the Republic shall be temporarily occupied by the oldest Justice of the Supreme Court, who shall call a national election to be held within a period of not more than 90 days.

When the vacancy occurs in the last year of the presidential term, the substitute Justice shall hold office until the term ends.

The person occupying the presidency by reason of any of the substitutions referred to in the preceding Articles cannot be a presidential candidate at the following election.

150. The Vice-President of the Republic is the presiding officer of the Senate and shall have a vote only in case of tie.

The Vice-President shall receive from the Nation a compensation that can be changed at any time, but the change shall not be effective until the presidential term following that in which jt is resolved upon.


Title XII.—The Cabinet

151. For the exercise of the executive power, the President of the Republic shall be assisted by a Cabinet, composed of the number of members determined by law.

One of these Ministers shall have the category of Prime Minister, by designation of the President of the Republic, and can act as such with or without a portfolio.

152. To be a Minister it is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth.

(b) To be at least 30 years of age.

(c) To have full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

(d) To have no business with the Nation, the Provinces or the Municipalities.

153. Each Minister shall have one or more Assistant Secretaries who shall substitute for him in cases of temporary absence or non-attendance.

154. The Cabinet shall be presided over by the President of the Republic. When the President does not attend meetings of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister shall preside. The Prime Minister shall represent the general policy of the Government, and the Government itself before Congress.

155. The Cabinet shall have a Secretary, charged with keeping the minutes of the Cabinet, certifying its resolutions and attending to the despatching of the affairs of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Cabinet.

156. The Ministers shall be charged with despatching the business of their respective Ministries, and shall deliberate and resolve on all questions of general interest that are not the responsibility of other dependencies or authorities, and shall exercise the functions pertaining to them in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

157. Resolutions of the Cabinet shall be passed by a majority vote at sessions at which one more than half of the Ministers is present.

158. Ministers shall be personally liable for instruments they countersign, and shall be jointly and severally responsible for those which they jointly resolve upon or authenticate.

159. The Prime Minister and the Ministers are criminally liable before the Supreme Court for any common crimes they commit in the exercise of their offices.

160. The Ministries of Education, Health and Social Welfare, Agriculture, and Public Works, shall act exclusively as technical bodies.

161. The Prime Minister and the Ministers shall take oath or promise before the President of the Republic, faithfully to fulfil the duties inherent in their offices, as well as to observe and see to fulfilment of the Constitution and the law.

162. It shall be the function of the Prime Minister to despatch with the President of the Repubic matters of general policy of the Government, and, accompanied by the Ministers, the matters of the respective departments.

163. The responsibilities of the Ministers are:

(a) To fulfil and see to the fulfilment of the Constitution, laws, decree-laws, decrees, regulations and other resolutions and provisions.

(b) To draw up bills, regulations, decrees and any other resolutions and present them for consideration of the Government.

(c) To countersign, jointly with the Prime Minister, the laws and other documents authenticated by the signature of the President of the Republic, except decrees appointing or removing Ministers.

(d) To appear before Congress, on their own initiative or at the instance of either of its bodies, to report before them, reply to interpellations, take part in their debates, and individually or collectively raise questions of confidence.

A Minister who is a member of Congress shall be entitled to vote only in the body to which he belongs.


Title XIII

Sole Section.—Relations between Congress and the Government

164. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are responsible for their acts of government, before the House and the Senate. These bodies can grant confidence to or withhold it from the Prime Minister, a Minister or the Cabinet as a whole, in the manner specified in this Constitution.

165. Each co-legislative body can determine the total or partial removal of the Cabinet, raising a question of confidence, which shall be presented by means of a motion, stating its grounds, in writing, and with the signature of at least onethird of its members. This motion shall be reported immediately to the other members of the respective body and shall be discussed and voted on one week after its presentation. If not resolved on within 2 weeks after the said presentation it shall be considered rejected.

In order that these motions may be validly approved, an affirmative majority vote, always by roll call, of one more than half of the total membership of the House of Representatives or of the Senate, respectively, shall be necessary.

The fact that a Bill presented by the Government or by a Minister is voted down, or that a Bill returned by the President of the Republic is passed over his veto, shall in no way compel the Prime Minister or the Ministers to resign.

If a question of confidence arises simultaneously in both co-legislative bodies, that raised in the House of Representatives shall have preference.

166. There shall be total and partial crises. A total crisis shall be considered to be that raised with respect to the Prime Minister or that which refers to more than 3 Ministers. The others shall be considered partial.

167. The power to refuse confidence to the entire Government, to the Prime Minister or to any of the Ministers forming part of the Cabinet, can be exercised only after lapse of at least 6 months from the original appointment of the Cabinet, or from the subsequent production of a total crisis by the approval of a motion of no confidence by the respective co-legislative body, according to the rules-established in this Constitution. Ministers who have been named because of removal of their predecessors in a partial crisis can be subjected to a vote of no confidence only 6 months from their designation, unless it is a case of a total crisis.

When either of the co-legislative bodies has resolved favourably on a motion of no confidence, it cannot again raise one until a year has elapsed, during which the said power shall pertain to the other co-legislative body, which in any case cannot exercise it until at least 6 months have elapsed from the appointment of the Cabinet or Ministers to whom said question refers.

Two partial crises shall be equivalent to a total crisis, for the purpose of the six months’ restriction to which this Article refers.

In no case can questions of confidence be raised in the last 6 months of each presidential term.

The Cabinet can of itself raise a question of confidence with respect to the entirety of its members, or with respect to any of the Ministers. In this case it shall be immediately discussed and resolved.

The fact that a motion of confidence raised by the Government has previously been decided, does not prevent or restrict Congress from freely exercising its right to raise questions of confidence.

168. In any case in which confidence is refused to the Government or to any of its members, the full Government or the members thereof affected by the refusal of confidence shall resign within 48 hours following the parliamentary resolution, and if they do not do so they shall be deemed to be removed, and the President of the Republic shall so declare.

The outgoing Minister shall temporarily continue in charge following his resignation, until delivery to his successor.

169. A refusal of confidence to the full Cabinet or to any of its members means only the non-conformity of the co-legislative body that raised the question, with the policy of the Minister or of the Government as a whole.

A refusal of confidence implies that in the Cabinet that is formed or reorganised immediately after the crisis, the Ministers whose policy was the subject of the refusal of confidence cannot be named for the same portfolios.


Title XIV.—The Judiciary

Section 1.—General provisions

170. Justice is administered in the name of the people, and its dispensation shall be gratis throughout the national territory.

Judges and Public Prosecutors are independent in the exercise of their functions, and owe obedience only to the law.

Justice can be administered only by those who belong permanently to the judiciary. No member of this branch can exercise any other profession.

Civil Registers shall be in charge of members of the judiciary.

171. The judicial power is exercised by the Supreme Court, the Superior Electoral Court, and the other tribunals and judges established by law. The organisation of the tribunals, their functions, the method of exercising them, and the qualifications of the officers composing them, shall be regulated by law.

Section 2.—The Supreme Court

172. The Supreme Court is composed of the Sections determined by law.

One of these Sections shall constitute the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees. When trying constitutional matters, it shall necessarily be presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and cannot be composed of less than 15 Justices. When dealing with social matters, it can not be composed of less than 9 Justices.

173. To be Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court it is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth.

(b) To be at least 40 years of age.

(c) To have full enjoyment of civil and political rights, and not to have been condemned to a major penalty for a common crime.

(d) Also to have one of the following qualifications:

To have practised law in Cuba during at least 10 years; or to have performed for a like period judicial functions or functions of the public prosecutor’s office; or to have held, during the same number of years, a chair of law in an official educational establishment.

For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, the periods of exercise of judicial functions, exercise of functions of the public prosecutor’s office, and the practice of law can be added together.

174. In addition to the other functions which this Constitution and the law specify for the Supreme Court, it shall have the following:—

(a) To try appeals for cassation.

(b) To decide questions of jurisdiction between courts immediately inferior to it, or which have no common superior, and those arising between judicial authorities and authorities of other branches of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities.

(c) To try suits in which the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, litigate among themselves.

(d) To decide on the constitutionality of laws, decree-laws, decrees, regulations, resolutions, orders, provisions and other acts of any body, authority or officer.

(e) To decide, in the last instance, on the suspension or removal of local and provincial governing officials, in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and the law.

175. The judicial career is instituted. Entry therein shall be by competition, with the exception of the Justices of the Supreme Court.

176. Appointments of Justices of the Courts of Appeals shall be made in three forms, taken in order: the first, by promotion, by strict seniority in the lower category; the second. by choice among those who occupy the immediately lower category; and the third, by means of competitive examinations—theory and practice—which can be taken by judicial officers, officers of the public prosecutor’s office, and lawyers, not over 60 years of age. Practicing lawyers must meet the other requisites fixed for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

177. Appointments of judges shall be made in two forms, taken in order: one by strict seniority in the lower category, and the other by choice among officers of the same or the lower category who make application. In the first form of this and the preceding Article, the vacancy shall be filled by transfer if there is an office of like category who requests it, the appointment or promotion being made to the position which finally becomes available in that category.

178. The Government Section of the Supreme Court shall determine, classify and publish any merits that may be awarded to judicial officers of each category, for purposes of promotion.

179. In cases of choice, the transfers and promotions must necessarily be given to the best qualified officer of the same or immediately lower category who applies for it. The Supreme Court shall keep a record of the qualifications of each one, by categories, rectifying it semi-annually, on the sole basis of capacity, services, merits and juridical output of each officer.

180. Justices of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, from a list of 3 names proposed by an electoral college of 9 members. These members shall be designated: 4 by the full bench of the Supreme Court from its own membership; 3 by the President of the Republic; and 2 by the Law Faculty of the University of Havana. The last 5 must have the qualifications required to be a Justice of the Supreme Court, and those designated by the Faculty of Law cannot belong thereto.

The college shall be named for each designation, and its members who are not Justices cannot again form part of an electoral college until after lapse of 4 years.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the presiding Justices of its Sections shall be appointed by the President of the Republic on proposal of the full bench of the Supreme Court. These appointments and those of Justices of the Supreme Court must receive the approval of the Senate.

The list of three referred to in the first paragraph of this Article shall comprise, if there are any, at least one judicial officer in active service who has performed those functions during at least 10 years.

181. Appointments, promotions, transfers, exchanges, suspensions, disciplinary steps, retirements, leaves of absence and eliminations of positions shall be effected by a special Government Section composed of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and 6 members thereof, chosen annually among the Presiding Justices of Sections and the Justices of the said court.

No one can be a member of this Government Section for two consecutive years.

All newly created positions shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Regulatory authority, so far as it affects the internal order of the courts, shall be exercised by the Government Section of the Supreme Court, in accordance with the provisions of the Organic Law of the Judicial Branch.

Section 3.—The Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees

182. The Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees is competent to take cognisance of the following matters:

(a) Unconstitutionality appeals against laws, decree-laws, decrees, resolutions or acts that deny, diminish, restrict or impair the rights and guarantees specified in this Constitution or that impede the unrestricted functioning of Government bodies.

(b) Consultations of judges and courts as to the constitutionality of laws, decree-laws and other provisions that they have to apply in lawsuits.

(c) Habeas corpus proceedings, on appeal, or when a claim made against other authorities or tribunals is inefficacious.

(d) the validity of constitutional modification and procedure.

(e) Juridico-political questions and those of social legislation which the Constitution and the law submit to its consideration.

(f) Appeals against abuse of power.

183. The following can apply to the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees, without the necessity for furnishing surety:

(a) The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and each one of the members of the Cabinet, the Presiding Officer of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Tribunal of Accounts, Governors, Mayors and Councilmen.

(b) Judges and courts.

(c) The Public Prosecutor.

(d) Universities.

(e) Autonomous bodies authorised by the Constitution or the law.

(f) Every individual or collective person affected by an act or provision that he deems unconstitutional.

Persons not comprised in any of the foregoing paragraphs can also apply to the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees, provided they furnish the surety fixed by law.

The mode of functioning of the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees, and the procedure for hearing the appeals presented before it, shall be established by law.

Section 4.—The Superior Electoral Court

184. The Superior Electoral Court shall be composed of 3 Justices from the Supreme Court and 2 from the Havana Court of Appeals, named for a period of 4 years by the full bench of their respective courts.

The Chief Justiceship of the Superior Electoral Court shall belong to that one of the 3 Supreme Court Justices with the longest service. Each one of the members of the Court shall have 2 substitutes, named by the body from which they come.

185. In addition to the attributes which the electoral laws confer on it, the Superior Electoral Court is vested with full faculties to guarantee the integrity of the ballot, and to check and supervise, when it deems this necessary, all censuses, elections and other electoral acts, the formation and organisation of new parties, reorganisation of the existing ones, nomination of candidates and proclamation of those elected. It shall also:

(a) Decide electoral claims subjected by law to its jurisdiction and competency.

(b) Issue the general and special instructions necessary for fulfilment of electoral legislation.

(c) Resolve, on appeal, proceedings with reference to the validity or nullity of an election and the proclamation of candidates.

(d) Issue to the armed forces and police compulsory instructions and orders, for the maintenance of order and electoral freedom during the period of preparation of the census, that of organisation and reorganisation of the parties, and that comprised between the calling of elections and the completing of the count of ballots.

In case of a serious public disturbance, or when the Court deems that sufficient guarantees do not exist, it can suspend or declare null all electoral acts and operations in the affected territory, even though the constitutional guarantees are not suspended.

186. Electoral courts shall be organised by law. To form them, officers of the judiciary can be utilised.

Hearing of electoral claims is reserved to the electoral jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the matters in which, as an exception, appeals from resolutions of the Superior Electoral Court can be taken to the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees, shall be determined by law.

187. An administrative career is created for electoral employees and officers, subordinated to the supreme jurisdiction of the Superior Electoral Court: and the permanent employees of electoral boards are declared non-removable.

The compensation fixed by the Electoral Code, for these permanent officers and employees, can be changed only under the conditions and circumstances established for judicial Officers and employees. Different compensations cannot be allotted by law for positions of like grade, category and functions.

Section 5—The Public Prosecution Service

188. The Public Prosecution Service represents the people before the courts and its principal object is to see to the fulfilment of the Constitution and the law. Officers of the Public Prosecution Service shall be non-removable and independent in their functions, excepting the Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, who shall be freely appointed and removed by the President of the Republic.

189. Entry in the career of public prosecution shall be by competitive examination, and promotion shall be made in the manner which this Constitution establishes for judges. Appointments, including those to newly created offices, promotions, transfers, suspensions, disciplinary steps, leaves of absence, removals and retirements of officers of the public prosecution service, and the acceptance of their exchanges and resignations, shall be effected in accordance with what is determined by law.

190. The Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court shall have the qualifications required to be a justice of the Supreme Court; Assistant Public Prosecutors of said Court and the Public Prosecutors of the other courts must be Cubans by birth, at least 30 years of age, and have full enjoyment of civil and political rights. The other officers of the Public Prosecution Service shall have the qualifications specified by law.

191. When the Government litigates, or must be a party to any proceedings, it shall do so through the medium of Government attorneys, who shall form a body whose organisation and functions shall be regulated by law.

Section 6.—The Superior Council of Social Defence and Juvenile Courts

192. There shall be a Superior Council of Social Defence which shall be charged with seeing to the execution of the sanctions and the measures of security that imply deprivation or limitation of individual liberty as well as with the organisation, direction and administration of all establishments or institutions required for the most efficacious prevention and repression of criminality.

This body, which shall be autonomous in the exercise of its technical and administrative functions, shall also have charge of the granting and revocation of conditional liberty, in accordance with law.

193. Juvenile Courts are created. Their organisation and functioning shall be regulated by law.

Section 7.—Unconstitutionality

194. A declaration of unconstitutionality can be requested:

(a) By those interested in lawsuits, causes or matters tried before the regular and special courts.

(b) By 25 citizens who evidence their status as such.

(c) By any person who is affected by the provision that is deemed unconstitutional.

Judges and courts are obligated to settle conflicts between laws in force and the Constitution, adjusting themselves to the principle that the latter shall always prevail over the former.

When a judge or court considers any law, decree-law, decree or provision inapplicable, because he deems that it violates the Constitution, he shall suspend the proceedings and forward the matter to the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees, in order that it may declare or deny the constitutionality of the precept in question and return the matter to the one who forwarded it, so that he may continue the proceedings, issuing the safety measures that are pertinent.

In administrative proceedings, an unconstitutionality appeal may be filed when contentious-administrative proceedings are resorted to. If this course is not authorised by law, the unconstitutionality appeal can be filed directly against the administrative resolution.

Unconstitutionality appeals, in the cases enumerated in Articles 131, 174, 182 and 186 of this Constitution, shall be filed directly with the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees.

In every unconstitutionality appeal, the courts shall always decide on the merits of the claim. If the appeal has any technical defect, they shall grant the appellant a period within which to correct it.

No law, decree-law, decree, regulation, order, provision or measure that has been declared unconstitutional can be applied in any case or manner, under penalty of disqualification to hold public office.

A decision declaring unconstitutional a legal precept or an administrative measure or resolution shall obligate the body, authority or officer who issued the annulled provision to repeal it immediately.

In every case the legislative or regulatory provision or administrative measure declared unconstitutional shall be considered null and without any value or effect from the date that the decision is made public in Court.

195. The Supreme Court and the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees are obligated to publish their decisions without delay in the corresponding official periodical.

The budget of the Judicial Branch shall annually contain an allotment for the payment of these requirements.

Section 8.—Jurisdiction and Non-Removability

196. The regular courts shall take cognisance of all suits, causes or matters, whatever be the jurisdiction to which they pertain, with the sole exception of those resulting from military crimes or acts which occur in the armed service, which are subject to the military jurisdiction.

When these crimes are committed jointly by members of the armed forces and persons who are not members thereof, or when the victim of the crime is not a member thereof, they shal] pertain to the jurisdiction of the regular courts.

197. There cannot be created in any case courts, commissions or bodies of any kind to which special jurisdiction is granted to take cognisance of acts, suits, causes, proceedings, questions, or matters within the jurisdictions attributed to the regular courts.

198. Courts of the sea and land forces shall be governed by a special organic law, and shall take cognisance solely of strictly military crimes and misdemeanours committed by their members. In case of war, or serious disturbance of the public order, the military jurisdiction shall take cognisance of all crimes and misdemeanours committed by soldiers in the territory where the state of war really exists, in accordance with law.

199. The civil and criminal liability incurred by judges, justices and public prosecutors in the exercise of their functions, or by reason of them, shall be enforceable before the Supreme Court.

200. Judicial and public prosecution officers, government attorneys, and their assistants and subordinates, are non-removable. By virtue thereof, they cannot be suspended or removed except for crime or other serious cause duly evidenced and always after hearing the accused. These officers can be suspended at any stage of the proceedings.

When a judge, justice, public prosecutor or government attorney is indicted in a criminal cause, he shall immediately be suspended.

The transfer of judges, justices, public prosecutors or government attorneys cannot be ordered, except after corrective disciplinary proceedings or for the reasons of public convenience established by law. Nevertheless, officers of the public prosecution service can be transferred. in case of vacancies, if they request it.

201. Positions of court clerks and assistants of the administration of justice shall be filled alternately by transfers and promotions based on length of service and merits, the last-named being determined by examination in the manner specified by Jaw and in accordance with the seniority list which shall be prepared and published by the Government Section of the Supreme Court.

202. The grounds for correction, transfer and removal, as well as the handling of the respective proceedings, shall be established by law.

203. Compliance with judicial resolutions is compulsory. The guarantees necessary to make these resolutions effective, if resisted by authorities, officers or employees of the Nation, Provinces or Municipalities, or members of the armed forces. shall be established by law.

204. Sentence pronounced by correctional judges, in cases of crime, shall be appealable to the court determined by law, which shall regulate the procedure.

205. The Government has no power to declare harmful a final resolution of the courts. In case it cannot comply therewith, it shall indemnify the injured party in the corresponding manner, provided this is proper, requesting from Congress the necessary appropriation if it has none.

206. The compensation of officers and employees of the administration of justice and of the public prosecution service and of the permanent officers and employees of electoral bodies cannot be altered except by a vote of two-thirds of each one of the co-legislative bodies and in periods of not less than 5 years. Different compensations cannot be allotted to offices of like grade, category and functions.

The compensation allotted to Justices of the Supreme Court and other officers of the Judicial Branch must in every case be suited to the importance and outstanding nature of their functions.

207. No member of the Judicial Branch can be a Minister of the Government, nor exercise any function whatever attached to the Legislative or Executive Branches, except in case of forming part of commissions designated by the Senate or the House of Representatives for revision of laws. Nor can they be candidates for any elective office.

208. The penal responsibility and causes for removal that may be incurred by the Chief Justice, Presiding Justices of Sections and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court shall be enforced in accordance with the following procedure:

The Senate of the Republic shall be the body competent to take cognisance of denunciation against said officers. When a denunciation is received, the Senate shall name a committee to study it, and the Committee shall submit its report to the Senate. If by a vote of two-thirds of its members, cast at a secret session, the Senate considers there is a basis for the denunciation, the corresponding proceedings shall be opened before a body which shall be called the Grand Jury, which shall be composed of 15 members, designated in the following manner:

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall forward to the President of the Senate a complete list of the members of the said body, who are not affected by the accusation.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall forward to the President of the Senate a list of the members composing the House.

The Rector of the University of Havana shall send to the President of the Senate a complete list of the full Professors of its Law Faculty.

The President of the Republic shall send to the President of the Senate a list of 50 lawyers who have the qualifications required to be Justice of the Supreme Court, freely designated by him.

When these lists have been received by the President of the Senate, he shall proceed, at a public meeting of the said body, to determine by lot the members of the Grand Jury:

Six from the Supreme Court. If there are none, or the number is insufficient, it shall be completed by the same procedure from a list composed of the Chief Justice and the associate justices of the Havana Court of Appeals, sent to the President of the Senate by the Chief Justice of said Court of Appeals.

Three members of the House of Representatives.

Three members of the Law Faculty of Havana University, and

Three members from the list of 50 lawyers.

This body shall be presided over by the judicial officer of highest category, and in lieu thereof by the one of greatest seniority among those composing it.

When the Grand Jury is named, the Senate shall submit the denunciation to it for the proper handling. When a decision has been rendered, the Grand Jury shall dissolve.


Title XV.—The Municipal Regime

Section 1.—General Provisions

209. A Municipality is the local society politically organised by authorisation of the Legislative Branch, in a territorial area determined by necessary relations of population, on a basis of economic capacity to satisfy the expenses of its own government, and with juridical personality for all lawful purposes.

The territory, the name of each Municipality and the seal of its government shall be determined by law.

210. Municipalities can associate for intermunicipal purposes, by a resolution of their respective municipal councils or commissions. Municipalities can also incorporate one with another or can divide in order to constitute other new ones, or alter their boundaries, by popular intitiative and with the approval of Congress, after hearing the opinion of the respective municipal councils or commissions.

To resolve on the separation of part of a Municipal District and its addition to another or other adjacent ones, it shall be necessary that this be requested by at least 10 per cent. of the residents of the portion of territory that it is sought to separate. and that, at a referendum election, 60 per cent. of the voters of said part express their conformity with the separation.

If the result of the referendum is favourable to the application presented, the matter shall be referred to Congress for its definitive resolution.

When the new territorial boundaries are fixed, and the division of properties is made, the right of private ownership of the assignor Municipality shall be respected as to any properties acquired or constructed by it on the portion separated, without prejudice to recognising, in favour of the Municipality receiving it, the proportional part to which it is entitled for whatever it contributed for the acquisition or construction of said properties.

Whenever it is a case of the formation of a new Municipality, it shall be the function of the Tribunal of Accounts to report as to its economic capacity for the maintenance of its own government.

211. The Municipal Government is an entity with powers to satisfy the peculiar collective needs of the local society and it is also an auxiliary body of the central power which the Nation exercises throughout all of the national territory.

212. A municipality is autonomous. The Municipal government is vested with all the powers necessary to resolve without restriction the affairs of the local society.

The faculties which are not vested in the Municipal Government by this Constitution are reserved to the National Government.

The Nation can act for the Municipality, when the latter’s action is inadequate, in case of epidemic, serious public disturbance or other motives of general interest, in the manner determined by law.

213. The Municipal Government shall especially:

(a) Furnish all local public services; purchase, construct and operate public service enterprises, or render said services by means of a concession or contract, with all guarantees established by law; and acquire, by expropriation or by purchase, the properties necessary for the purposes indicated. It can also operate enterprises of an economic character.

(b) Effect local public improvements, and to acquire by purchase, in agreement with its owners, or by expropriation, the properties directly necessary for the proposed work, and those that are advisable to reimburse itself for the cost thereof.

(c) Create and manage public schools, museums and libraries, physical training and recreation grounds, without prejudice to what is established by law as to education; and adopt and execute, within the limits of the Municipality, sanitary and local police regulations and other similar provisions that are not contrary to law, as well as promote the establishment of production and consumption co-operatives and expositions and botanical and zoological gardens, all having the character of a public service.

(d) Appoint municipal employees in accordance with what is established by this Constitution and the law.

(e) Prepare its budgets of expenditures and revenues and establish the taxes necessary to cover them, provided they are compatible with the tax system of the Nation.

Municipalities cannot reduce or suppress revenues of a permanent character without at the same time establishing others to take their place, unless the reduction or suppression results from the reduction or suppression of equivalent permanent expenses.

Allotments appearing in the budget for expenditure shall be divided into twelfth parts, and no need of the current month shall be paid if all those of the previous month have not been liquidated.

(f) To resolve to borrow money, at the same time voting the permanent revenues necessary for the payment of the interest and amortization thereof.

No Municipality can contract obligations of this kind . without a prior favourable report of the Tribunal of Accounts.

In case new taxes are resolved on for the payment of the obligations to which the foregoing paragraph refers, it will require, in addition, the favourable vote, at a referendum election, of one more than half of the votes cast by voters of the Municipal District, and the vote cannot be less than 30 per cent. thereof.

(g) To contract economic obligations for future payment, to cover the cost of public works, with the duty of including in successive annual budgets the allotments necessary to meet them, and provided that their payment does not absorb the economic capacity of the Municipality to render the other services in its charge. No Municipality can contract obligations of this kind without a favourable prior report from the Tribunal of Accounts and also a favourable vote of two-thirds of the members composing the Municipal council or commission.

(h) The enumeration of these faculties, as well as any other that is made by law, does not imply a limitation or restriction of the general faculties granted by the Constitution to Municipalities, being only the expression of a part thereof, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 212 of this Constitution.

Intermunicipal trade, communications and transit cannot be taxed by Municipalities. Speculation or unfair competition that might result from measures adopted by municipalities is prohibited. Municipal taxes on articles of prime necessity shall be adjusted to the bases established by law.

214. The government of each municipality is obligated to meet the following minimum local needs:

(a) The punctual payment of salaries and wages to municipal officers and employees, in accordance with the standard of living of the locality.

(b) The maintenance of an asylum and local welfare building, a workshop and an agricultural school.

(c) The maintenance of a police force and a fire department.

(d) The functioning, at least in the seat of government, of a school, a library, a centre of popular culture and a first-aid station.

215. In each Municipality there shall be a Commission on Urbanisation which shall be obligated to lay out the plan of extension and embellishment of the city, and to see to its execution, bearing in mind present and future needs of public transit, hygiene, beauty and the common well-being.

The said Commission shall attend to everything relating to living quarters for workers and shall propose plans of erection of houses for workers and farmers, which can be acquired by payment over a long term of a modest rental which will return to the Municipality the principal invested. Municipalities shall proceed to execute the plan which they approve, obligatorily including in their budgets, out of regular revenues, the amounts necessary for that purpose, which cannot be less than the cost of one house in each fiscal period, or resorting to the means offered them by the Constitution to effect works of this nature, in case their regular revenues are not sufficient for the purpose.

There shall likewise be a Commission on Local Roads, which shall be obligated to plan, construct and maintain those which, according to a plan and regimen previously resolved . upon, favour the exploitation, transportation and distribution of the products.

216. The urbanisation of hamlets or inhabited sections contiguous to the bateys of sugar mills or any other agricultural or industrial exploitation of analogous nature shall be determined by law.

Section 2.—Guarantees of Municipal Autonomy

217. As guarantee of municipal autonomy, the following is established:

(a) No local government official can be suspended or removed by the President of the Republic, the Governor of the Province, or any other governmental authority.

Only the courts can resolve on the suspension or removal from office of local government officials, by means of summary proceedings handled in accordance with law, without prejudice to what it directs as to recall.

Neither can any of the functions proper to their office be interfered with by other officers or authorities, except as to the faculties granted by the Constitution to the Tribunal of Accounts.

(b) Resolutions of the Municipal Council or the Commission or decrees of the Mayor or any other municipal authority cannot be suspended by the President of the Republic, the Governor of the Province, or any other governmental authority.

The said resolutions or decrees can be impugned by the governmental authorities, when they deem them unlawful, only before the courts, which shall be the only ones competent to declare, by means of the summary proceedings established by law, whether or not the municipal bodies or authorities issued them within the limits of their jurisdiction, in accordance with the faculties granted to them by the Constitution.

(c) No law can obtain for Nation, the Provinces, or other bodies or institutions, all or a part of the amounts collected by Municipalities in the form of contributions, taxes and other means of obtaining municipal revenues.

(d) No law can declare national in character any municipal tax or tribute constituting one of the sources of revenue of the Municipality, without at the same time guaranteeing it revenues equivalent to those which are nationalised.

(e) No law can compel municipalities to exercise collecting functions for taxes of a national or provincial character, unless the bodies interested in the collection appoint the assistants necessary for that purpose.

(f) A municipality shall not be obligated to pay for any service which is not administered by it, unless it has expressly agreed otherwise with the Nation, private parties or other municipalities.

218. The Mayor or any other authority representative of the local government may, on his own initiative or in compliance with a resolution of the Municipal Council or the Commission, file before the full bench of the Supreme Court an appeal alleging abuse of power, against every resolution of the National or Provincial Government which, in his judgment, attacks the régime of municipal autonomy established by the Constitution, even though the resolution was issued in the use of discretionary faculties.

219. As guarantees to the inhabitants of a Municipal District, with respect to their local government officials, the following is provided:

(a) In case the resolutions or decrees of the municipal authorities or bodies injure some private or social interest, the injured party, or any inhabitant of the Municipality who considers that the resolution or decree injures a public interest, can request its nullification and reparation of the damage, before the courts, by means of summary proceedings established by law. The Municipality shall be subsidiarily liable, and when it is condemned to make payment, shall be entitled to bring action against the officer guilty of causing the injury, on the terms specified by law.

(b) A referendum shall be required in the contracting of loans, issuance of bonds and other operations of mobilisation of municipal credit which by their amount compel the Municipality effecting them to create new taxes to cover payment of the amortizations or payments of said contracts.

(c) The right of initiative is granted to a percentage that will be fixed by law, of the electorate of the Municipality, to propose resolutions to the Municipal Council or the Commission. If these latter reject the initiative or fail to decide on it, it must be submitted to popular vote by means of a referendum, in the manner determined by law.

(d) Recall of local government officers can be requested by a percentage of the electorate of the Municipality, in the manner determined by law.

(e) What is requested of municipal authorities and bodies shall be considered decided in the negative when the petition or claim is not favourably decided within the period fixed by law. Everything relative to the impugnation of such tacit denials, and the responsibility of those liable for the delay, shall also be regulated by law.

Penalties for unjustified delay in the handling of petitions which inhabitants of a Municipal District present to the municipal authorities and bodies shall be fixed by law.

220. The penal liability incurred by mayors, members of the Municipal Council or of the Commission and other municipal authorities shall be enforceable before the courts, either on their own initiative, at the instance of the Public Prosecutor, or by private action. This private action shall be by the people and can be utilised by not less than 25 residents of the Municipal District, without furnishing surety, and without prejudice to any liability that is proper because of false or calumnious accusations.

221. Responsibility for municipal resolutions shall rest upon those who vote in favour of them and those who, although not on official leave of absence at the time, did not attend the meeting at which they were approved, and do not within the two following meetings, put themselves on record as opposed to the resolution. Such action shall in no case affect the efficacy of definitively adopted resolutions.

Section 3.—Municipal Government

222. Municipal Districts shall be governed in the manner established by law, which shall recognise the right of municipalities to adopt their own municipal constitution in accordance with this Constitution.

The Municipal organisation shall be democratic and shali respond in a simple and efficacious manner to the essentially administrative character of the local government.

223. Municipalities can adopt their own municipal constitution in accordance with the following procedure, which shall be regulated by law. The Municipal Council or Commission, on petition of 10 per cent. of the voters of the Municipality and with the favourable vote of two-thirds of its members, shall consult the electorate of the Municipality, through the medium of the corresponding electoral bodies, as to whether it desires to elect a Commission of 15 members to prepare a municipal constitution.

The names of the candidates to form part of the Commission shall be placed on the respective ballots, and if the majority of the electors votes favourably on the question raised, the 15 candidates who receive the highest vote, in accordance with the system of proportional representation, shall be elected to form the Commission. The latter shall draw up the municipal constitution and submit it for the approval of the voters of the Municipality not less than 30 days after it has been completed and distributed, and not more than one year after the Commission is elected.

Municipalities shall adopt one of these systems of government: that of a commission; that of a municipal council and manager; and that of a Mayor and municipal council.

224. In the system of government by commission, the number of commissioners, including among them the mayor as presiding officer, shall be five in municipalities having up to 20,000 inhabitants; seven in those having from 20,000 to 100,000; and nine in those of more than 100,000 inhabitants.

All commissioners shall be directly elected by the people, for a period of 4 years. Each commissioner shall be the head of a department of the municipal administration, for which he shall be responsible, and he shall be charged with fulfilling, and seeing to the fulfilment, with respect to his department, of the resolutions adopted by the commission. The requisites to be required of the Commissioner, according to the department in question, shall be fixed by law.

The commissioners together shall form the deliberative body of the municipality.

225. In the system of municipal council and manager there shall also be a mayor who shall preside over the Municipal Council and shall be the representative of the people in all acts of an official or social character.

The Manager shall be a technician or person of recognised capacity in municipal matters, and shall act as the head of the municipal administration, with faculties to appoint and remove the officers and employees of the municipality in accordance with what is established in this Constitution.

The position shall be filled by the municipal council, for a period of 6 years through the medium of competitive examination, before a board composed of the following members: A professor of municipal] government; a professor of administrative law; a public accountant; and 2 representatives of the municipality. The professor of administrative law and the professor of municipal government shall be named by a University Faculty of Social Sciences; the public accountant, by the School of Commerce of the Province to which the Municipality pertains; and the representatives of the Municipality, by the Municipal Council of the Municipal District in question.

When the Manager has been named by the Municipal Council, on proposal of the examining board, he cannot be removed except by a decision of the competent judicial authority or by popular will, always for the reasons and with the formalities to be established by law.

The Municipal Council, in this form of government, shall be composed of 6 councilmen, when the population of the Municipality does not exceed 20,000 inhabitants; of 14, when it is more than 20,000 but does not exceed 100,000; and of 28, when it exceeds 100,000 inhabitants; all directly elected by the people for a term of 4 years.

226. In the system of Mayor and Municipal Council presided over by the Mayor, both the latter and the councilmen shall be directly elected by the people for a term of 4 years. The composition of the Municipal Council shall be determined by law, which shall fix the rules in accordance with which the political parties shall always nominate for the said body representatives of the various interests and activities of the locality.

227. The Mayor, the Manager, and the Commissioners shall receive from the municipal treasury a compensation that can be changed at any time, but the change shall not be effective until there has been a new election for Mayor, for the Council or for the Commission. Any increase in the compensation of the Mayor shall depend on an effective increase in the municipal revenues during the last 2 years preceding the date it is to be effective. The office of Councilman can be compensated when the financial situation of the Municipality permits it and the public services are duly financed and taken care of.

228. In case of temporary or definitive absence of the Mayor in any of the three systems heretofore specified, he shall be substituted by the Councilman or Commissioner who shall have been elected for that purpose at the first session held by the Municipal Council or Commission.

If it is the Manager who is absent, the Municipal Council shall proceed to fill the vacancy in the same manner directed for filling the office.

229. To be Mayor, Manager, Commissioner or Councilman, it is necessary to be a Cuban citizen, 21 years of age, and to meet the other requisites specified by law. In the case of the Mayor it shall also be required that he was not a member of the armed forces of the Republic in active service during the 2 years immediately preceding the date of his designation as a candidate.

Domicile or residence in the Municipality shall not be required in the case of the Manager.

230. A Metropolitan District of Havana can be created by law, federating with the capital city the municipalities that surround it, in the number that the law shall determine.

The federated municipalities shall have direct representation in the government of the Metropolitan District, conserving their democratic and popular organisation.

231. Municipal budgets shall allot for the needs of rurai boroughs the amounts corresponding in accordance with the following gradual scale:

In rural boroughs which contribute from $100 to $1,000, 35 per cent.

In rural boroughs which contribute from $1,001 to $5,000, 30 per cent.

In rural boroughs which contribute from $5,001 to $10,000, 25 per cent.

In rural boroughs which contribute $10,001 or more, 20 per cent.

232. Municipal elections shall be held on a different date from general elections.


Title XVI

Sole Section.—The Provincial Régime

233. A Province comprises the municipalities situated within its territory. Each Province shall be governed by a Governor and a Provincial Council.

The Governor shall be the representative of the Province. The Provincial Council is the body for orientation and co-ordination of the interests of the Province.

234. Provinces can consolidate or divide to form new provinces, or modify their bounds, by means of a resolution of the respective Provincial Councils and the approval of Congress.

235. The Governor shall be elected for a period of 4 years, by direct and secret suffrage, in the manner. determined by law. To be Governor it is necessary:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth or naturalisation, and in the latter case, to have resided 10 years in the Republic, counted from the date of naturalisation.

(b) To be at least 25 years of age.

(c) To have full enjoyment of civil and political rights.

(d) Not to have belonged to the armed forces of tne Republic in active service during the 2 years immediately prior to the date of his designation as a candidate.

236. The Governor shall receive from the Provincial treasury a compensation that can be changed at any time. but the change shall not be effective until after a new election for Governor has been held.

The increase in the compensation of the Governor shall be dependent on an effective increase of Provincial revenues during the last 2 years preceding the date on which it is to be effective.

237. In the temporary or definitive absence of the Governor he shall be substituted in office by the oldest Mayor.

238. It is the function of the Governor of the Province:

(a) To fulfil and see to the fulfilment of the laws, decrees and regulations of the Nation, so far as they concern him.

(b) To publish the resolutions of the Provincial Council that have binding force, executing them and seeing to their execution, determining the penalties corresponding to infractions when the Council has not fixed them.

(c) To issue orders and also to issue the instructions and regulations for the best execution of resolutions of the Council, when the latter has not done so.

239. The Provincial Council shall be composed of the Mayors of the Province. Mayors can attend sessions of the Council accompanied by experts in each one of the fundamental services of the community, such as administration, health and social welfare, education and public works, who shall have the character of consulting technicians of the Council and can be heard by it, but shall have no vote. The position of technical adviser shall be honorary and gratuitous.

240. The Governor shall have his seat at the capital of the Province, but meetings of the Provincial Council can be held indiscriminately at the seat of any municipal district thereof, by resolution of the Council.

241. Provincial Councils shall meet at least once each 2 months, without prejudice to any special sessions that can be held when called by the Governor, on his own initiative. or at the instance of three or more members of the Provincial-Council.

242. It is the function of the Provincial Council:

(a) To draw up its regular budget of revenues and expenditures and determine the quota which must obligatorily be contributed ‘by each Municipality in a like proportion—based on its revenues—to meet the expenses of the Province.

(b) To render public services and execute works of provincial interest, especially in the branches of health and social welfare. education and communications, without contravening the laws of the Nation.

(c) To resolve on loans for effecting public works, or provincial plans of a social or economic character, and at the same time to vote the permanent revenues necessary for the payment of their interest and amortization. No loan can be resolved on without a prior favourable report of the Tribunal of Accounts and a resolution of two-thirds of the members of the Provincial Council.

In case new taxes are resolved on for the payment of the obligation to which the preceding paragraph refers, it shall also be necessary that there be a favourable vote, at a referendum election, of one more than half of the votes cast by the voters of the Province, and the number of votes can not be less than 30 per cent. thereof.

(d) To appoint and remove Provincial employees in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

243. For the purposes of the provisions of the preceding Article, the average effective revenues of the preceding 5 years shall be taken as a basis for calculating the revenues.

244. When the works resolved upon by the Council are not of a provincial character, but in the interest of the municipalities, the latter shall receive in benefits a minimum allotment in proportion to their contributory quotas.

245. No member of the Provincial Council can be suspended or removed iby governmental authority. Nor can the said authority suspend or annul resolutions and decisions of the Council, which can be impugned before the courts by means of special summary proceedings that shall be regulated by law, by municipal or national governmental authorities, by any resident who is injured by the resolution or decrees or who deems that they injure a public interest.

Resolutions of Provincial Councils shall be passed at public sessions.

Only the Courts of Appeals are empowered to suspend or remove Provincial Councillors by reason of crime, in summary proceedings held in accordance with law, or by a final decision which involves disqualification. In case of suspension or temoval of a provincial councillor, the sanction shall be extended to his functions as Mayor.

246. A Governor, after a resolution of the Provincial Council, can file before the full bench of the Supreme Court, in the manner determined by ldw, an appeal alleging abuse of power, against resolutions of the National Government which, in his judgment, attack the provincial autonomous régime established by the constitution, even though the resolution was issued in the use of discretionary powers.

247. The Provincial Council and the Governor owe Tespect to the Tribunal of Accounts of the Nation in accounting matters, and are obligated to furnish it all of the data and reports that it requests, especially those relative to the preparation and liquidation of the budgets.

At the time indicated to him by the Tribunal of Accounts, the Governor shall designate an expert acquainted with the Provincial finances, to assist the Tribunal in the examination of the Provincial accounts.

248. The provisions regarding public finances contained in the corresponding Title of this Constitution shall be applicable to the Province, so far as they are compatible with the régime thereof.

249. Provincial Councillors and the Governor shall be responsible before the courts, in the manner prescribed by law, for acts which they perform in the exercise of their functions. The position of Provincial Councillor is honorary, gratuitous and obligatory.

250. The principles of provincial government and administration that are established in the Constitution shall be so developed by law that they will respond to the administrative character of the Provincial Government.


Title XVII.—National Finances

Section 1.—Properties and Finances of the Nation

251. In addition to the property of the public domain and its own properties, the Nation is the owner of all property existing in the territory of the Republic which does not pertain to the Provinces or the Municipalities, or individually or collectively to private owners.

252. Property owned by the Nation can be alienated or encumbered only under the following conditions:

(a) That Congress so resolve by a special law, for a reason of social necessity or convenience; and always by a vote of two-thirds of each co-legislative body.

(b) That the sale be made in response to public bidding. In the case of a lease, the procedure shall be as directed by law.

(c) That the proceeds be destined to create work, attend to services or satisfy public needs.

The alienation or encumbrance can, nevertheless, be resolved upon in a regular law and effected without the requisite of public bidding, when it is done to carry out a national economic plan approved in a special law.

253. The Nation shall not contract loans except by virtue of a law approved by two-thirds of the total number of members of each co-legislative body, in which at the same time the permanent revenues necessary for the payment of interest and amortization are voted.

254. The Nation guarantees the public debt, and, in general, every operation which implies economic liability for the national Treasury, provided it was contracted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the law.

Section 2.—The Budget

255. All revenues and expenditures of the Nation, with the exception of those mentioned later, shall be provided for and fixed in annual budgets, and shall be in force only during the year for which they were approved.

The monies, special funds or private patrimonies of bodies authorised by the Constitution or by law, and devoted to social security, public works, development of agriculture and industrial, stock-raising, commercial or professional activities, and in general to the development of the national wealth, are excepted from the provisions of the preceding paragraph. These funds or their taxes shall be delivered to the autonomous body and administered by it, in accordance with the law which created them, subject to audit by the Tribunal of Accounts.

Expenses of the Legislative and Judicial Branches, those of the Tribunal of Accounts and those of the interest and amortizations of loans, and the revenues by which they are to be covered, shall be permanent in character and shall be included in the fixed budget that shall be effective until revised by special laws.

256. For the purposes of protection of the general and national interests, in any line of production, as well as of the professions, obligatory associations or producers can be established by law, which shall determine the manner of constitution and the functioning of the national bodies and of the regional ones that are necessary, in such manner that at all times they shall be governed by a majority of their members, with full authority; likewise granting them the right to meet the needs of their organised action by dues that will be imposed by the operation of the said law.

The budgets of these bodies or co-operatives shall be audited by the Tribunal of Accounts.

257. Congress cannot include in budget laws any provisions introducing changes of a legislative or administrative or other nature nor can it reduce or suppress revenues of a permanent character, without at the same time establishing others to take their place, unless the reduction or suppression is the result of a reduction of permanent expenses of like amount; nor can it allot to any of the services that are to be provided for in the annual budget an amount greater than that indicated in the Government’s project. It can create new services or amplify existing ones through the medium of laws.

Every law that creates expenses outside of the Budget, or which involves expenses of that kind in future, must establish, under penalty of nullity, the means of covering them by one of these methods:

(a) Creation of new revenues.

(b) Suppression of prior expenditures.

(c) Definite verification of the surplus by the Tribunal of Accounts.

258. The study and preparation of the annual budgets of the Nation are functions of the Executive Branch; their approval or modification being a function of Congress, within the limits established in the Constitution. In case of peremptory necessity, Congress can resolve on a special budget by means of a law.

The Executive Branch shall submit the proposed annual budget to Congress, through the House of Representatives, 60 days prior to the date on which it is to become effective. The President of the Republic, and particularly the Minister of the Treasury shall be subject to the liability determined by law if the budget reaches Congress after the date above fixed. The House of Representatives must forward the proposed budget to the Senate, with its resolution, 30 days prior to the date on which it is to become effective.

If the general budget is not passed prior to the first day of the fiscal year in which it is to be effective, the one that has been in force shall be understood to be extended, together with the Law of Bases, by quarters. In this case, the Executive Branch can make no other modifications than those derived from expenses already paid, or services or expenses that are not necessary in the new fiscal period.

The needs of the regular budget shall necessarily be covered by the regular revenues which it provides, and in no case can they be covered by special revenues, unless this is authorised by a special law.

The regular budget shall become effective by the sole approval of Congress, which shall cause it to be published immediately.

259. In the part relating to expenses, the budgets shall contain sections which shall specify:

(a) The exact amount of the legitimate liabilities of the Nation liquidated but not paid, pertaining to previous budgets.

(b) The proportion of that amount that will be paid from regular revenues of the new budget.

The Law of Bases shall establish, with respect to the foregoing sections, the rules relative to the manner in which the amount or amounts fixed for payments during the life of the budget shall be prorated among creditors with liquidated claims.

260. Allotments specified in the statement of expenses of the budget shall fix the maximum amounts destined to each service, which cannot be increased or transferred by the Executive Branch without prior authorization from Congress.

The Executive Branch can, however, on its responsibility and when Congress is not in session, grant allotments or supplements of allotments in the following cases:

(a) War or imminent danger of war.

(b) Serious disturbance of the public order.

(c) Public calamities.

The handling of these allotments shall be determined by law.

261. The Executive Branch is obligated to render the accounts of the Nation annually. For that purpose, the Minister of the Treasury shall liquidate the annual budget within 3 months following its expiration and, after approval by the Cabinet, shall send his report with the necessary data and vouchers to the Tribunal of Accounts. The latter shall pass on the report within the following 3 months, and in that period and without prejudice to the effectiveness of its resolutions, shall report to Congress and to the Executive Branch the infractions or liabilities which in its judgment have been incurred. The definitive approval or rejection of the accounts rests with Congress.

Allotments included in the budget for contingent expenses of the administration can be spent, when contingencies arise, only by a resolution of the Cabinet.

The Executive Branch shall forward to Congress monthly the balance sheets showing the revenues and expenses of the Nation.

262. The Executive Branch shall avoid duplication of services and a multiplicity of official or semi-official agencies, totally or partially compensated by the Nation for the accomplishment of its purposes.

263. No one shall be compelled to pay any tax, toll or contribution whatever, that has not been expressly established by law or by the municipalities, in the manner established by this Constitution, and the amount of which is not going to form part of the revenues of the budget of the Nation, a Province or a Municipality, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution or by Law.

The foregoing provision shall not be considered to comprise contributions or quotas imposed by law, in an obligatory manner, on persons or entities composing an industry, commercial ‘business or profession, in favour of its bodies recognized by law.

264. The Nation, without prejudice to the other means within lits power, shall regulate the development of the national wealth by means of the execution of public works payable in whole or in part by those directly benefited. The adequate manner and procedure whereby the Nation, the Province or the Municipality, on its own initiative or having recourse to private initiative, shall promote the execution of such works, grant the pertinent concessions, authorise the fixing, the assessment and the collection of taxes for those purposes, shall be determined by law.

265. The liquidation of each appropriation of Government funds for the execution of any public work or service shall be published integrally in the Official Gazette of the Republic, as soon as it has received the approval of the corresponding Minister.

The instrument of approval, whether partial, total, provisional or definitive, of every public work executed in whole or in part with funds furnished by the Nation, shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Republic, as soon as it has received the approval of the corresponding Minister.

Both the liquidation of appropriations of Government funds and the definitive approvals of works executed by contract or by the Administration, paid in whole or in part with funds furnished by the Nation, shall be submitted for approval of the superior officer within 60 calendar days after termination of the works, without prejudice to the partial liquidations and approvals that are deemed proper by the Administration during the process of execution of the works.

Section 3.—The Tribunal of Accounts

266. The Tribunal of Accounts is the body which audits the revenues and expenses of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, and of the autonomous organisations, created by law, which receive their revenues directly or indirectly through the medium of the Nation. The Tribunal of Accounts is subject only to law, and its conflicts with other bodies shall be submitted for the decision of the Supreme Court.

267. The Tribunal of Accounts shall be composed of 7 members, four of whom shall be attorneys and three public accountants or mercantile professors. Any person comprised in paragraph (d) of the following Article can also be designated, even though he is not a lawyer or public accountant. The attorneys must have the same qualifications that are required to be a member of the Supreme Court. The public accountants or mercantile professors must be over 35 years of age, Cubans by birth, and have practised their profession not less than 10 years.

The full bench of the Supreme Court shall designate two of the attorneys, who shall be the President and the Secretary of the Tribunal.

The President of the Republic shall designate one attorney member and one public accountant or mercantile professor member.

The Senate shall designate one attorney member and one public accountant or mercantile professor member.

The University Council shall designate one public accountant or mercantile professor member.

The members of the Tribunal of Accounts shall hold office for a period of 8 years, and can be removed within this period only by the Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees of the Supreme Court of the Republic, after due proceedings and by a resolution specifying its reasons.

Members of the Tribunal of Accounts cannot form part of any other official or autonomous body which is directly or indirectly subordinate to the Nation, a Province or a Municipality, nor can they practise any profession or engage in industry or trade.

268. To be a member of the Tribunal of Accounts it is required:

(a) To be a Cuban by birth.

(b) To be over 35 years of age.

(c) To have full enjoyment of civil and political rights and have no penal antecedents.

(d) To be an attorney with 10 years of practice; to have been Minister, or Secretary, or Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Auditor General of the Republic; Treasurer or Chief Accountant of the Ministry of the Treasury; Professor of Economics, Finance, Auditing and Checking, or of Accountancy in an official educational establishment; or hold a degree as public accountant or mercantile professor, with 10 years of practice.

Members of the Tribunal of Accounts cannot have any direct or indirect material interest in any agricultural, industrial, commercial or financial enterprise connected with the Nation, the Province or the Municipalities.

269. The Tribunal of Accounts shall name auditors, officers, employees and assistants, after evidence accrediting their capacity.

270. Attributes of the Tribunal of Accounts are:

(a) To see to the application of the budgets of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, and of the autonomous bodies that directly or indirectly receive their revenues through the Nation, examining and checking the accounts of all of them.

(b) To take cognisance of the orders of the Nation for advancement of money, in order to approve the placing of funds in accordance with the budget, in such a manner that the provisions of the Law of Bases are complied with, and that the orders are handled without preferences or subordination of one to another.

(c) Generally to inspect the expenses and disbursements of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, both for the execution of works and for supplies and payment of personnel, and calls for public bids for that purpose. To this end, proceedings can be opened to determine whether payments made actually correspond to the service performed by the official institutions under its supervision, verification being made by means of the corresponding proceedings to fix the unit cost of works, and the average value of supplies that the Nation is to receive, in accordance with the market. It can likewise handle all denunciations filed for this reason, and make an annual report to the President of the Republic in connection with the manner in which the expenditures of the institutions subject to its check havebeen made, so that the latter may send it, with his respective remarks, to Congress.

(d) To request reports from all bodies and dependencies subject to its check, and to name a special delegate to make the corresponding investigations when the data are not furnished to it, or when they are deemed deficient.

The Tribunal is obligated to render a detailed report to the Executive Branch and to Congress, when it is called upon to do so, particularly as to all details referring to its acts.

(e) To render annually a report with respect to the state and administration of the public treasury, the national finances, the public debt, and the budget and its liquidation.

(f) To receive the oath or promise of every citizen designated to perform a public function, before taking possession and when ceasing to hold the position, with respect to the property that he possesses, and to make the investigations that it deems proper for the purpose.

The time and manner of exercising this function shall be regulated and determined by law.

(g) To make report to the courts, with respect to the degree of blame shown by any inspection and checking made by it in the exercise of the faculties granted to it by the preceding paragraphs, and to give the opportune instructions in cases of infractions in which there is no penal responsibility, for the best fulfilment of the accounting laws by all bodies subject to its check.

(h) To publish its reports for general information.

(i) To fulfil the other duties specified for it by law and the regulations.

Section 4.—The National Economy

271. The Nation shall orient the national economy for the benefit of the people, in order to insure to each individual a decorous existence.

The development of the national agriculture and industry shall be a primordial function of the Nation, which shall seek the diversification thereof as sources of public wealth and collective benefit.

272. The ownership and possession of real estate and the exploitation of agricultural, industrial, commercial, banking and any other kind of enterprises or business, by foreigners located in Cuba, or who carry on their operations in Cuba, although located outside thereof, are subject in an obligatory manner to the same conditions which the law establishes with respect to Cubans, which conditions must, in every case, accord with the social-economic interests of the Nation.

273. The increment in the value of land and of real estate, produced without effort in the form of labour or private capital, and solely as a result of the action of the Nation, a Province or a Municipality, shall accrue to the benefit of these latter in the proportional part determined by law.

274. Stipulations of lease, cane-planting or share-cropping contracts of rural properties that impose the renunciation of rights recognised in the Constitution or in the law, and also any other pacts which the law or the courts declare abusive, shall be null.

In regulating the said contracts, the adequate norms shall] be established to govern the rentals, which shall be flexible, with a maximum and a minimum depending on the use, productiveness, location and other circumstances of the leased property; to fix the minimum of duration of the said contracts, according to the said elements, and to guarantee to the lessee, planter or share-cropper a reasonable compensation for the value of the improvements and betterments that he delivers in good order and that he has effected at his expense with the express or tacit consent of the owner, or because they were required by the exploitation of the realty, because of its use.

The lessee shall not be entitled to the said compensation if the contract is terminated ahead of time because of his fault, or when he refuses an extension offered him under the same conditions in force when the contract expires.

Crop lien and cane-grinding contracts, as well as the delivery of other products by those who produce them, shall also be regulated by law, granting the former due protection.

275. The planting and grinding of administration cane shall be regulated by law. being reduced to the minimum limit imposed by the social-economic need for maintaining the sugar industry on a basis of separation of the two large factors which concur in its development: industrialists, or sugar producers, and farmers or planters, who produce the cane.

276. Laws and provisions which create private monopolies, or which regulate commerce, industry and agriculture in such a manner as to produce that result, shall be null and void. The law shall especially provide that commercial activities in centres of agricultural and industrial labour cannot be monopolised for private benefit.

277. Public services, whether national or local, shall be considered of social interest. In consequence, the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, in their respective cases, shall be entitled to supervise them, issuing the necessary measures for the purpose.

278. No consumption tax shall be imposed on any domestic raw material which, whether or not it is a product of agriculture, is destined for manufacturing or exportation.

Nor shall any consumption tax be imposed on the products of domestic industry, if the same or similar products or substitutes imported from abroad cannot be taxed in like manner.

279. The Nation shall maintain the independence of the private institutions of social welfare and co-operation that are normally maintained without the aid of public funds, and shall contribute to their development by means of adequate legislation.

280. Money and banking shall be subject to regulation and check by the Nation.

The Nation shall, through the medium of autonomous entities, organise a banking system for the best development of its economy, and shall found a National Bank of Cuba, which shall be a bank of issue and rediscount. On establishing the said bank, the Nation can require that its capital be subscribed. by the banks existing in the national territory. Those which fulfill these requisites shall be represented on the Board of Directors.


Title XVIII.—State of Emergency

281. Congress, by means of a special law, on request of the Cabinet, can declare a state of national emergency and authorise the Cabinet to exercise exceptional faculties in any case when the external safety or the internal order of the Nation are in danger or are attacked, by reason of war, catastrophe, epidemic, serious economic disturbance or other cause of a like nature.

In each case the special law shall determine the concrete matter to which the exceptional faculties are to be applied, as well as the period during which they will govern, which shall never exceed 45 days.

282. During the state of national emergency the Cabinet can exercise the functions that Congress expressly delegates to it. In a like manner it can vary criminal procedure. In every case, the legislative provisions adopted by the Cabinet must be ratified by Congress, in order to continue to be effective after the state of national emergency ends. Judicial acts that modify the normal regimen can be reheard at the instance of an interested party, when the state of emergency is over. In this event the case shall be reopened if a condemnatory sentence has been rendered, and said sentence shall be considered merely as the act of indictment of the accused.

283. The law which declares the state of national emergency shall necessarily contain a call for a special session of Congress on the day on which the emergency period ends. In the meantime a Permanent Commission of Congress must meet to watch over the use of the exceptional faculties granted to the Cabinet. and can call Congress even before expiration of said period, in order to terminate the state of emergency.

The Permanent Commission shall be elected from the membership of Congress and shall be composed of 24 members. an equal number coming from each co-legislative body, and in the composition of which all political parties shall likewise be represented. The Commission shall be presided over by the President of Congress and shall function when Congress is in recess and during a state of national emergency.

The Permanent Commission shall have competency:

(a) To watch over the use of the exceptional attributes that are granted to the Cabinet in cases of emergency.

(b) Over the immunity of Senators and Representatives.

(c) Over the other matters attributed to it by the Law of Relations between the co-legislative bodies.

284. The Cabinet must give an account of the use of the exceptional faculties, before the Permanent Commission of Congress, at any time that the Commission so resolves, and before Congress when the state of national emergency ends.

The state of national emergency shall be regulated by a special law.


Title XIX.—Revision of the Constitution

285. The Constitution can be revised only:

(a) By initiative of the people, by means of presentation to Congress of the corresponding proposition, signed, before the electoral bodies, by not less than 100,000 voters who know how to read and write and in accordance with what is established by law. When this has been done, Congress shall assemble as a single body and within the following 30 days shall without discussion vote the proper law to call an election of Delegates or a referendum.

(b) By initiative of Congress, by means of the corresponding proposition, signed by not less than one-fourth of the members of the co-legislative body to which the proponents belong.

286. Constitutional revision shall be specific, partial or complete.

In case of a specific or partial revision, proposed by popular initiative, it shall be submitted to a referendum at the first election that is held, provided that the new precept that it is sought to incorporate or the existing one that it is sought to revise is susceptible of being proposed in such a manner that the people can approve or reject it by answering “yes” or “no”.

In case of a specific or partial renewal by initiative of Congress, its approval shall be necessary by a favourable vote of two-thirds of the total number of members of both colegislative bodies, jointly assembled, and said revision shall not be effective if it is not ratified in like manner within the following two regular sessions.

In case the revision is complete, or relates to the national sovereignty, or to Articles 22, 23, 24 and 87 of this Constitution or to the form of the government, after the aforesaid requisites have been complied with, according to whether the initiative comes from the people or from Congress, an election shall be called for delegates to a plebiscitary assembly. which shall be held 6 months after it is resolved on, which shall limit itself exclusively to approving or rejecting the revisions proposed.

This Assembly shall fulfil its duties entirely independently of Congress, within the 30 days following its definitive constitution. The delegates to said Convention shall be elected by Provinces, in the proportion of one for each 50.000 inhabitants or fraction in excess of 25,000, and in the manner established by law and no Congressman can be elected to the position of Delegate.

In case it is sought to accomplish a re-election constitutionally prohibited, or the continuance in office of some officer for a period longer than that for which he was elected, the proposal for revision must be approved by three-fourths of the total number of the Congress, sitting as a single body, and ratified at a referendum by the favourable vote of two-thirds of the total number of voters of each Province.


TRANSITORY PROVISIONS

To Title II

1. Foreigners comprised in Sections 1, 2, 4 and 5 of Article 6 of the Constitution of 1901[3] shall retain the rights therein recognised, provided they meet the corresponding requisites.

2. The Register of Spaniards opened in the Department of State by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution of 1901 and subsequent ones, shall be definitively closed on April 11, 1950, and shall be sent to the National Archives. Certificates of the Registry of Spaniards issued up to that date of closing shall be valid at any time. After April 11, 1950, the procedure established in this Constitution shall be generalised for all foreigners.


To Title III

Sole: Within three sessions following the promulgation of this Constitution the law must establish penalties applying to violations of Article 20 of this Constitution.

Until this legislation is in force, every act which violates the right established in that Article and those concordant with it shall be considered as included and penalised in Article 218 of the Code of Social Defence.


To Title IV

1. In the case of laws that are effective with respect to obligations of a civil character, Articles 22 and 23 shall be observed only with respect to those promulgated after this Constitution becomes effective.

2. With respect to the civil obligations that were subject to Decree-Laws 412, 423 and 594 of 1934, as modified by the Law of September 3, 1937, regardless of their present legal or contractual status and whether or not they have the benefit of the moratorium, and also with respect to those subsequent to August 14, 1934, and prior to September 4, 1937, but only when these latter refer to the payment of amounts proceeding or derived from the deferred price of cane plantations, sugar mills or shares of stock representing the ownership of property of either of the two kinds, or it is so deduced from the aggregate of the contracts, pacts or agreements between creditor and debtor, whatever the nature and form of the guarantees, the fulfilment of said obligations shall be governed by the following rules:

(1) Principal which does not exceed $1,000 must be amortized on June 30, 1960.

Principal comprised between $1,000 and $50,000 must be amortized on June 30, 1965, and, if it is greater than $50,000. on the same day of 1970. If the obligation is represented by bonds, certificates, obligations or notes, the principal, for all the purposes of this Transitory Provision, shall be considered to be the total amount of the par values represented by those that were in circulation on August 14, 1934, or on September 3, 1937, according to the obligation involved, and the amortization payments shall be credited to them in the order of their respective annual maturities, according to the original contract, or pro rata if they have a like maturity. The amortizations shall be exactable in annual instalments, the first being payable on June 30, 1942, but if on that date the period agreed upon by the parties has not lapsed, the said first annual instalment shall be payable on June 30th following the maturity of the said instalment. In all cases the principal due must be distributed among the corresponding annual instalments of amortization in a progressive manner, so that when combined with the amount due for interest it will make the total of the annual payments for both items approximately equal, and in such a manner that the creditor shall be paid in full at the end of the period determined by the amount of the debt, as heretofore established.

The principal amounts of “censos” are excepted from the provisions of this rule.

(2) All interest in arrears that is due when this transitory provision becomes effective, as well as any amounts due for commissions, costs, fines, or other penalties, and similar items, even though the said interest or amounts have been capitalised , shall be uncollectible; but from its effective date the obligations in question shall bear interest according to the amount of principal, payable as determined by Decree-Laws 412 and 594 of 1934, and in accordance with the rate resulting for each one from application of the following scale: When the principal due does not exceed $15,000, the obligation shall bear interest at 3 per cent. per annum; if it exceeds $15,000 but not $50,000, the obligation in question shall bear interest at 24 per cent. per annum; when it, exceeds $50,000, but not $200,000, it shall bear interest at 2 per cent.; if it is in excess of $200,000 but not of $400,000, at 1 3/4 per cent.: if it exceeds $400,000 but not $600,000, at 1 1/2 per cent.: when it exceeds $600,000 but not $800,000, at 1 1/4 per cent.; and, finally, when it exceeds $800,000, the obligation in question shall bear interest at 1 per cent. per annum. The provisions of the present rule shall be applied to the obligations referred to in the initial paragraph of this transitory provision, whether or not they bear interest, whether the interest is agreed or legal, and regardless of what the agreed rate is, if there is one.

In every cumulative loan the principal shall be considered to be the amount actually received by the debtor at the time of execution of the document covering the obligation, and it shall be considered reduced by the amount of the payments made, after deductions have been made therefrom of the amount of the interest accumulated on each one.

This principal thus reduced shall be amortized in the instalments specified by rule 1, or in a single amount at any time, at the will of the debtor.

All interest that has been accumulated on mortgage loans shall be eliminated and shall be null and uncollectible, so that in this manner interest shall be earned and be collectible only on the unpaid part of the principal.

This provision shall also be applicable to the principal of “censos” and other perpetual liens specified in Moratorium Decree-Laws 412, 423 and 594 of 1934, as modified by the Law of September 3, 1937.

(3) The obligations to which the initial paragraph of this transitory provision refers, so far as they affect natural or juridical persons who are owners of sugar mills, as debtors or guarantors, shall also be subject to what is established in Rules 1 and 2, provided that such obligations secure debts specifically contracted with direct or indirect guarantee of sugar mills or cane plantations or result from supplies, financing, rentals or services owed by said mills; but the amount of the annual payments that can be exacted of them as a credit, first, to the interest, and thereafter to the amortization of the principal, shall be limited according to the following bases:

(a) When a pound of centrifugal raw sugar in warehouse at port is quoted at less than 1.40c per Cuban pound on an average during the crop, no payment can be exacted of them on account of the annual instalment to become due on the following June 30th, and the amounts representing. amortization and interest of said annual instalment shall be covered by the payments that are found to be exactable in future.

(b) If the average price of sugar exceeds the limit specified, there must be destined to the said payments, whether they represent the current annual instalment or any that have been left unpaid in accordance with the preceding base, 3 per cent. of the gross value of the raw sugar manufactured in the crop in which this occurs, so long as the price does not exceed 1.50c per pound; from 1.50c to 2c, there shall be an increase of four-hundredths of 1 per cent. for each one-hundredth of a centavo of increase in the average price of a pound of sugar.

(c) The amounts applicable to interest, or to principal, when there are any applicable to principal, shall be prorated among the various creditors, if necessary, in accordance with the amounts which they are respectively entitled to receive in compliance with the present transitory provision.

(d) When in any crop the official average price reaches 2c or more per pound, 5 per cent. of the value of the sugar produced in that crop and pertaining to the mill, that is, excluding the sugar necessary to pay the price of the cane ground, shall be applied as a special amortization for the year in question, and 10 per cent. additional instead of the 5 per cent. when the price exceeds 2.50c, without such special amortizations, eliminating the obligation of the exactable amortizations that the debtor must pay.

(e) On expiration of the period determined by rule 1, the creditor shall be entitled to claim all that is due to him for principal and interest exactable in accordance with this transitory provision.

(4) With respect to the obligations proceeding or derived from the deferred price of lots bought on instalments, prior to August 15, 1934, regardless of the principal amount due, the amortization shall be effected in 30 years, as an exception to what is provided on these points in rules 1 and 2, which shall be applicable thereto in all else, and in no case will interest be paid.

This rule shall be applied only to lots the deferred. price of which does not exceed $3,000.

In the case of judicial sale of a lot sold on instalments, because of a failure to pay the price, the value of the buildings constructed thereon by the buyer or his successors shall be appraised in the judicial proceedings, deducting from the amount fixed the value that reasonably represents the use and enjoyment of the said buildings. The net amount resulting from the appraisal thus made, shall be paid to the debtor by the one who purchases the property at the sale or by the creditor, as the case may be, as indemnity, before the ownership of the property is conveyed to him.

The exception to which the second paragraph of this rule refers shall not govern with respect to the obligations to which it refers, provided that the lot thus acquired is situated in places of not less than 20,000 inhabitants.

(5) As a supplement to what is established in the foregoing four rules, the provisions of Decree-Laws 412 and 594 of 1934, as modified by the Sugar Co-ordination Law of September 3, 1937, shall be applied, but without altering what is established in said rules and without prejudice to the provisions of the Law of July 10, 1939.

(6) With reference to the obligations granted a moratorium by Decree-Law 423 of 1934, as modified by the Law of September 3, 1937, and also with respect to the debts for the deferred price of cane plantations, subsequent to August 14, 1934, and prior to September 4, 1937, the provisions of said legal texts shall be observed instead of applying the foregoing rules; but the moratorium which the said texts established shall be understood as extended until June 30, 1960, on the same terms as at present in force. Like treatment shall be applied to the mortgages on rural properties devoted to the cultivation of sugar cane, comprised in the initial paragraph of this transitory provision, to the extent that the natural or juridical person who was the owner, lessee or usufructuary of the sugar mill, to which the cane plantation or plantations established on the land in question is or are bound, was on September 3, 1937, a creditor by reason of said mortgages, but the provisions of the preceding rule 2 shall also be observed with respect to said mortgages.

(7) In the case of pignorative claims comprised in this transitory provision, when the pledgee has reserved to himself. or limited with respect to the owner of the shares, the right to vote the shares pignorated, these rules shall be observed:

(a) The creditor cannot vote said shares in any manner that will produce, directly or indirectly, to the detriment of the company or of the owner of the shares, the loss or diminution of any of the benefits which this transitory provision grants them, nor compel the owners thereof to vote in a manner that would produce those results.

(b) The shareholder can vote in the manner directed by the statutes of the Company, to make contracts of sale, lease or any other operations relative to its properties, as well as to borrow money on the security of said properties, provided that the rights of the pledgee, as regulated in this transitory provision, are guaranteed; and to that end it will not be necessary that the owner of the shares pignorated physically exhibit the shares at any meeting or meetings where those resolutions are adopted, provided that he accredits his character as such and the amount of stock possessed, by the books of the company or by means of documents which he presents.

(8) The provisions of the preceding rules shall not be applied with respect to those obligations which, in virtue of judicial or extrajudicial proceedings intended to collect them or to exact their fulfilment, have, prior to the date of promulgation of this transitory provision, resulted in the award of all of the encumbered property to the creditor or a third person, except in case that by a final decision of the courts the award has been or is declared null. If award of only part of the property has been made, this rule shall be’ observed with reference to the property awarded, and the other rules shall be observed with respect to. the part of the obligation which is still legally exactable, which, for the purposes of this transitory provision, shall be considered to be divided into as many obligations as there are mortgagors, or properties individually encumbered.

In the case of mortgages on urban properties comprised in Title 3 of Decree-Law No. 412, of August 14, 1934, with respect to which the creditor and debtor have made agreements subsequent to the promulgation thereof, such obligations shall be excluded from this transitory provision, provided there is evidence in writing and the debtor continues to enjoy the full benefits granted him by said agreements.

Any amount paid in excess of what was required to be paid in accordance with Decree-Laws 412 and 594 of 1934 shall be applied to the payments that are to be made in accordance with this provision, provided the debtor has not received any benefit in compensation for said payment in excess.

(9) Obligations secured by pledge prior to September 4, 1937, can be collected only from the property specifically encumbered in the contract, the right of personal action against the debtors or their guarantors being consequently extinguished.

(10) Notwithstanding what is provided in the initial paragraph of this transitory provision, in the case of debts contracted by reason of the deferred price of sale of sugar mills or cane plantations purchased between August 15, 1934, aad September 3, 1937, the period for amortization shall be reduced by one-fourth, but the reduction cannot exceed 5 years; but in all else the foregoing rules ‘shall also be applied to said debts.

(11) In the cases in which any creditor takes charge of a sugar mill in order to obtain reimbursement of any claim comprised in this moratorium, or of any other debt, it shall be an indispensable requisite therefor that he previously obligate himself to continue to operate it in each sugar crop, if said mill was operated in the two crops prior ‘to the date on which it was taken over. The Chief Executive shall issue the proper measures to insure compliance with this obligation.

(12) The provisions of this transitory provision shall also be applied to the obligations contracted prior to August 14, 1934, as debtors, by natural or juridical persons who on the promulgation hereof are at the same time creditors by reason of claims subjected to the foregoing rules, provided they are comprised in Title 4 of Decree-Law No. 412 of 1934, or guarantee the fulfilment of such obligations by encumbering as security therefor mortgages which are subject to liquidation in accordance with said rules, in an amount at least equal to that mecessary so that the security thus given will cover what is exactable from them for principal and interest, in accordance with this transitory provision and by virtue of the present rule.

(13) There are excluded from the benefits of these moratoria:

(a) The obligations excepted in Article 59 of Decree-Law No. 412, of August 14, 1934.

(b) Mortgages constituted to secure deposits, administrative or judicial bonds, executorships and usufructs.

(c) Obligations in which the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities are debtors.

(d) Those contracted by underwriters or employers by reason of pensions or indemnities arising from the Workmen’s Compensation Law.

(e) Obligations contracted by public service companies the functions of which are to furnish electricity, gas, water, or telephone service, even though as organisations affiliated with or dependent on them they have ownership rights over sugar mills or cane plantations.

The provisions of Section (e) of this rule, with respect to public service companies, shall not be applicable to companies that have a capital of less than $100,000 and are not dependent on, affiliated with or subsidiary to other enterprises.

This transitory provision of the Constitution, while the Constitutional Law of June 11, 1935, is in force, shall also form part thereof; its application shall not be subject to the restrictions or limitations established or that may be established with respect to the retroactivity of laws and to their efficacy to annul or modify civil obligations arising from the contracts, acts or omissions producing them; it shall be effective from its promulgation, which shall be effected when it is read aloud by the Chairman of the Constitutional Convention, and for the purposes of its publication a certified copy of it shall be sent to the Official Gazette of the Republic.


To Title V

Section 2

1. All personalty and realty that were allotted to the University of Havana when it was granted autonomy by Decree No. 2059, of October 6, 1933, published in the Official Gazette of the 9th of that month, as well as the other property and rights that pertain to it by reason of legacy, donation, inheritance or any other title of acquisition, shall form its patrimony as a juridical person and shall be recorded in the corresponding Registers free of all payment of fees.

So long as the University partimony does not furnish annual resources sufficient for the expenses of the University of Havana, the amount that the Nation shall contribute to its maintenance, in accordance with Article 53 of this Constitution, shall be 2-1/4 % of the total amount of expenses included in said budgets, with the exception of the amounts destined to payment of the foreign debt.

This amount shall be distributed proportionately among the several Faculties of the University, taking as a basis the number of students seeking the titles granted by each Faculty and the needs of their respective courses.

2. The Nation must, within 3 years following the promulgation of this Constitution, construct a National Hospital with capacity for 1,000 patients. On expiration of said term, the first paragraph of the first transitory provision of this title of the Constitution shall enter into full force. During those 3 years the directors of the hospitals comprised in Article VII of Decree No. 2059, of October 6, 1933, published in the Official Gazette of the 9th of said month, shall be named by the President of the Republic, and shall be chosen from a list of three names that will be submitted by the University Council, on proposal of the Faculty of the School of Medicine.

When those hospitals pass integrally to the University of Havana, and likewise during the 3 years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, their budget allotment cannot be less than that which is in force at present and shall be fixed in the budget of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

3. In a period of not more than three sessions, Congress shall proceed to enact a law of general revision of education.

The beneficiaries of official chairs at present occupied without their having accredited teaching capacity in accordance with the law in force, must do so within three years, except as provided in the law referred to in the preceding paragraph of this transitory provision. In the meantime no chair of official teaching can be filled without the due degrees and certificates of specific capacity.


To Title VI

Section 1

1. The preponderant participation of Cubans by birth, in work, established by the Constitution, cannot be less than that guaranteed by the Law of November 8, 1933.

2. The rights acquired by workers who are Cubans by birth, prior to the promulgation of this Constitution, on the strength of the laws for Cubanization of labour, promulgated under date of November 8, 1933, are irrevocable.

3. The Government of the Republic shall proceed to regulate, in a period of not less than one year, the manner of expulsion of all foreigners who entered the national territory in violation of present immigration and labour laws.

4. For the purposes of compliance with article 80 of this Constitution, the public beneficence existing on promulgation of this Constitution shall be converted into the social welfare service specified in said article.

5. For the purposes of article 75 of this Constitution, in each Municipal District of the Republic there shall be founded by the Municipal Government a co-operative for distribution of lands and houses, denominated “José Marti”, for the purpose of acquiring arable lands and constructing cheap houses for poor farmers, workmen and employees who do not already own them.

These co-operatives shall be under the supervision of the Government of the Republic and shall be governed and administered by their co-operators, with representation of the Municipality, the Province and the Nation, and under the chairmanship of the representative of the last-named; but these representatives cannot of themselves decide any ballot.

The funds of these co-operatives shall be constituted principally by the amount contributed by the Nation, the Province, the Municipality and the small quotas of the co-operators fixed by law; by the reimbursement of the capital invested in agricultural implements, seeds, houses and lots awarded; by the other contributions that the co-operative resolves upon; and by any donations made to it.

Cuban farmers, workers and employees who meet the requisites fixed by law can be co-operators.

The arable lands acquired shall be awarded to the farmer co-operators, by means of drawings, in lots of not more than three caballerias (approximately 100 acres) in the Provinces of Las Villas, Camagüey and Oriente; of two, in the Provinces of Pinar del Rio and Matanzas; and of one, in the Province of Havana. The awards shall be made by virtue of payment of the amounts, at their cost price, without interest, of the seeds, agricultural implements, and lots, in a period of not more than 25 years, the interested party ceasing to pay his co-operative quota as soon as he cancels his indebtedness and acquires his title of ownership. The houses shall be awarded to workers and employees of the cities in the same manner and under the same conditions as the lots are awarded to the farmers.

The period of functioning of these co-operatives shall be 25 years, but if experience shows that it is advisable for the interests of the nation, Congress can modify their structure, suppress them in whole or in part, or extend the period; and in the case of definitive cessation of a co-operative, its holdings shall be proportionally returned to the bodies which furnished them.

Congress shall, within the shortest possible time, enact the complementary law regulating the foundation and functioning of these co-operatives.

Section 2

1. Congress shall proceed, in a period of 3 sessions from the promulgation of this Constitution, to enact the laws and provisions necessary for the formation of a national property census, the exact measurement of the national territory, and the effecting of the complementary topographic studies.

2. The nation shall distribute the lands owned by it, which it does not need for its own purposes, in an equitable and proportional manner, based on the status of father or head of a family, and giving preference to the one who is directly working the land under any title.

In no case can the nation give to a single family lands which have a value in excess of $2,000, or an area greater than two caballerias (about 66 acres).

3. Eviction suits brought against the possessors, under a precarious title, of rural properties on which not less than 25 families live, are suspended during 2 years from the publication of this Constitution, at whatever stage they have reached.

Eviction suits filed against the occupants of rural properties who hold them under contracts of lease or share cropping, provided the property does not exceed 5 caballerias (about 167 acres) in area and the suit was filed prior to the promulgation of this Constitution, are likewise suspended for that period of 2 years, at whatever stage they have reached.

During said period of 2 years, Congress shall enact a law regulating lease and share-cropping contracts.


To Title VII

Section 1

Sole. The provisions of article 97 of this Constitution shall be effective from the first general election held following its promulgation.

Section 2

1. Within the 3 sessions that immediately follow the promulgation of this Constitution, the laws necessary for the establishment of the administrative career shall be approved and placed in force, adjusting them to the norms contained in the corresponding Articles of the Section of Public Offices and in these transitory provisions, and to whatever others are deemed advisable, provided they do not modify, restrict or impair those established in the Constitution.

2. The non-removability recognised by legislation in force shall be respected until Congress approves and the Government sanctions and promulgates the complementary legislation regulating the administrative career. The non-removability which this Constitution guarantees shall become effective on fulfilment of the requisites and conditions established in the law to be enacted by Congress, which shall comprise all civil officers, employees and workers of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, with the sole exception of those officers, employees and workers who show that they have been in the public administration more than 20 years.

3. The non-removability guaranteed by the preceding transitory provision also comprises civil officers, employees and workers of the autonomous entities or corporate bodies.

4. The right is recognised, of members of the dissolved National Army, the National Navy, and the National Police, who being in active service on September 4, 1933, did not continue in the ranks, to a retirement pension that shall be granted to them and to their heirs whose right is recognised by law, in the manner and amount that the law shall determine and which can at no time be less in amount than that established at present. This right is also recognised to those who, having been receiving retirement pay, lost it, provided this was not by a resolution of the courts. This provision shall be regulated by law.


To Title IX

Section 2

Sole. A vacancy arising in the senatorial representation of any Province, chosen at the general elections of January 10, 1936, shall be covered, without an alternate, at the first election held. and shall pertain to the political party or associated political parties, as the case may be, which obtains a majority of the votes, in accordance with the provisions in force at said election.

Section 4

1. The exception established in Article 126 of this Constitution shall comprise those persons who, having been elected a Senator or Representative in Congress, responded to the call to fill a chair in an official establishment prior to the promulgation of this Constitution and obtained the a subsequently to their election.

2. Paragraph 2 of Article 130 shall become effective six years after this Constitution is promulgated.

Section 5

Sole. The Congress of the Republic is authorised to enact, within 2 sessions and without complying with the requisites specified in paragraph (k) of article 134 of this Constitution, an amnesty law that shall comprise the electoral crimes committed by reason of the elections held on November 15, 1939.

Congress is likewise authorised to enact, within the same period and in the same exceptional manner, an amnesty law that shall comprise crimes of a fraudulent character committed prior to the assembling of the Constitutional Convention of 1940, by public officers and employees in connection with the exercise of their offices, provided it is their first offence.

At its first session following the approval of this Constitution, Congress shall enact an amnesty law that will totally pardon veterans of the War of Independence who are more than 60 years old, and their co-criminals, who are serving time in the penal institutions of the Republic.


To Title XIV

Section 2

Sole. Pending creation of the Section of Constitutional and Social Guarantees to which article 172 of this Constitution refers, and the appointment of its Justices, the full bench of the Supreme Court shall continue to take cognisance of unconstitutionality appeals as regulated in the Constitutional Law of June 11, 1935.

Section 4

Sole. The first renovation of the Superior Electoral Court shall be made one year from the date on which this Constitution becomes effective.

Section 8

1. Judicial officers and those of the public prosecution service, their assistants, subordinates, government attorneys, those of the electoral courts who are permanent and are in possession of their offices at the time of promulgation of this Constitution, are ratified and comprised in the non-removability referred to in the corresponding articles.

2. Alternate Municipal judges of the first class are incorporated in the ninth category of the judicial seniority list, and alternate municipal judges of the second class and first alternates of the third class, in the tenth category of said list; all with the same rights and prohibitions as the law specifies for the respective members of those categories.


To Title XV

Section 2

Sole. Present municipal mayors and those who are elected at the first elections held subsequent to the promulgation of this Constitution can impugn resolutions of municipal councils in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of Article 217 of this Constitution, before the competent Court of Appeals, by the procedure of an incidental civil action, until Congress enacts the corresponding legislation.

Section 3

1. For the purpose of the provisions of Article 232 of this Constitution, mayors, councilmen or commissioners elected in 1944 shall cease in 1946.

2. The National Budget that becomes effective on January 1, 1942, shall specify the manner in which the expenses now covered in whole or in part by Municipal funds shall be transferred to the Nation.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 19 of the Law of July 15, 1925, and its Regulations, its provisions shall continue in force until they are repealed or modified by Congress; but they shall be. null and void as soon as full payment has been made of the principal and interest of the foreign debt; to the payment of which the taxes referred to in said Law of July 15, 1925, and its modifications are destined

To Title XVI

Sole Section

1. For the period of government which shall begin on September 15, 1940, the provisions of the present Organic Provincial Law shall govern, with the exception of the precepts of said Law or of any others that grant the Governor or the President of the Republic the faculty of suspending or removing local governing officers, or that of suspending resolutions of the Municipal Council or decrees of the Mayor or any other municipal authority, which shall not be applicable, in accordance with the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of Article 217 of this Constitution, which shall become effective to the fullest extent during the said period of government.

The Governor shall have the faculty of impugning resolutions or decrees of municipalities or the commission referred to in paragraph (b) of Article 217. Until he procedure is established by law, the impugnation shall be effected before the corresponding Section of the respective Court of Appeals, by the steps of incidental civil actions.

The Governor shall also have the faculty of inspecting municipal finances and filing complaints with the Tribunal of Accounts.

2. The proportional quota referred to in paragraph (a) of article 242 of this Title XVI shall not be applicable in the period of government to which the preceding transitory provision refers, during which time article 63 of the present Organic Provincial Law shall govern for that purpose, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraphs (c) and (e) of Article 217 of this Constitution.


To Title XVII

Section 3

1. The Congress of the Republic, in a period of 3 sessions, shall enact an Organic Law of the Tribunal of Accounts and a General Law of Accounting of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities; as well as of the autonomous bodies subject to check by the Tribunal of Accounts. Said General Law of Accounting shall fix the guarantees that must be given by persons who participate in the collection of the revenues and payments of said entity.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of article 268 of this Constitution, when the Tribunal of Accounts is organised for the first time, public accountants can be named who have exercised their profession for at least 5 years.

3. For the purpose of compliance with Article 259 of this Constitution, the Tribunal of Accounts, once it has been constituted, shall proceed to clean up the floating debt and determine its true amount, in a period of not more than 2 years and shall forward it to the President of the Republic so that he, with such remarks as he deems opportune, may send it to Congress for its approval.

Section 4

1. The law which organises the national banking system can establish as a condition for the operation of other banking institutions in the Republic, that they subscribe for part of the capital of the National Bank, in which case they shall also have a participation in its Board of Directors.

Pending promulgation of the law organising the national banking system, the Nation shall protect existing Cuban banking institutions and shall be obligated to grant them the same treatment that is shown to foreign ones.

2. The Nation shall grant a certificate of industrial ownership, under the name of Industrial Introduction Patent, to every natural or juridical person who during the first 2 years following the date of promulgation of this Constitution, requests it of the Ministry of Commerce, offering to establish a new industry, whether principal or accessory, or to manufacture, process or prepare, making them suitable for consumption or exportation, articles which at that time are not produced or prepared in the national territory, or the average production whereof in the last 5 years was less than 15 per cent. of domestic consumption in that time, specifying the article or product, with a statement of the item of the Customs Tariff in force under which it is classified or comprised; and provided that the applicant obligates himself, subject to force majeure, to construct one or more factories within a period of 18 months from the granting of the patent, or to open and amplify existing ones capable of producing the article in question, in an amount sufficient, within one year from said period, to cover a minimum of 80 per cent. of the domestic consumption thereof, and guarantees these obligations by a cash bond equivalent to 3 per cent. of the amount declared in the Customs as the value of all imports of said article in the 12 months prior to the promulgation of this Constitution, the maximum limit of said bond being $50,000.

Only one industrial introduction patent can be granted for each class of articles and those analogous to it, classified or comprised in each item of the Customs Tariff in force, the right of priority being determined by strict chronological order in the filing of the applications, which at the time of presentation shall be entered in a Register in the Ministry of Commerce, and the interested party shall be given, in addition to the corresponding certificate of entry, a duplicate of his application, the Minister certifying at the foot thereof the day, hour and minute of presentation, serial number, bond furnished, and whether or not any other application covering the same article has been presented earlier. If none has, and it is proved that the article which it is proposed to produce is not manufactured at that time in the national territory or is manufactured in an amount less than 15 per cent. of the average consumption in the last 5 years, and the applicant gives the corresponding surety bond, the Industrial Introduction Patent, valid or effective for 15 years shall be issued without further steps, by a final resolution of the Ministry of Commerce, within a week from filing of the application, the corresponding record being made, and it being published in the Official Gazette of the Republic, and in case any of the specified requisites are not met, the Minister shall deny the application and return the surety bond. Against this denial an appeal can be taken to the competent courts. after exhaustion of administrative proceedings.

Manufacturers of articles that are being produced at present in the territory of the Republic in an amount which in total is less than 15 per cent. of its consumption, who do not take advantage of the benefits referred to in the first paragraph of this transitory provision, shall each be entitled to continue producing, as an annual quota, the same amount of said article that they produced during 1939, with an increase or reduction proportional to the increase or reduction occurring in future in domestic consumption, as compared to said year.

3. When the patent has been granted, has been placed in effect, and a productive capacity in excess of 80 per cent. of domestic consumption of the articles which it covers has been proved, from that time and for the full life of the Patent no other person can manufacture, process or prepare said articles or those similar to them for consumption in the national territory, violators being subject to the civil and criminal liabilities established by the laws in force, and all of said articles, without exception, which are imported from abroad for whatever time or purpose in said period, shall be subject to a duty or tax, as a surcharge, and without changing the present ones, equivalent to 50 per cent. ad valorem, which shall be definitively collected by Customs Houses as a protective tariff margin, the Government also taking whatever measures are necessary to prevent dumping and other illegitimate practices. In the application of the Customs surtaxes established in this paragraph the text of international treaties now existing shall be respected so long as they are in force.

The owner of an Industrial Introduction Patent shall be entitled, during all the time that it is in force, to import without limitations or restrictions the machinery and materials intended for establishing the industry, as well as all raw materials employed or utilised for the production, processing of preparation of the article in question, if they are not duty free, with a reduction of 80 per cent. in the taxes and Customs duties applicable to them in accordance with the Customs Tariff in force on the date the patent is granted; and during the life of the patent no change whatever shall be made in said exemptions or taxes and duties, nor in the fees, taxes, charges or contributions of an internal character that are applicable to such importations on said date, after their entry into the national territory, or to the industries covered by the patent; the articles produced by these industries being exempt from internal taxes, fees, charges or exactions or those of any other kind, of the Nation, the Provinces and the Municipalities, different from or greater than those payable on analogous articles of domestic origin or from another foreign country; and in no case can any provision whatever be issued that is detrimental to the rights covered by the Patent; nor can the Patent be altered, suspended or lapsed, except by completion of its term or by default, after a decision rendered in every case by the corresponding courts.

4. Owners of Industrial Introduction Patents must utilise in their industries the raw materials produced in the national territory, in preference, when quality and price are the same, to those produced abroad, and wholesale sales for domestic consumption, of articles manufactured under those Patents, cannot be made by the producer, in any case, at a price greater than 10 per cent. as a maximum over the average price for domestic consumption in the half month prior to the sale, in quotations in the New York market, for articles of the same kind, plus ordinary expenses up to their delivery f.o.b. in the port of Havana.

5. The present Patent and Trade-Mark Law, contained in Decree-Law No. 805, of April 4, 1936, shall supplementarily govern with respect to what is not especially specified in the foregoing transitory provisions.


FINAL TRANSITORY PROVISION

Congress shall enact the organic laws and laws complementary to this Constitution, within a period of 3 sessions, except when this Constitution fixes some other period.


FINAL PROVISION

This Constitution shall be effective in its entirety on October 10, 1940.

And in fulfilment of the resolution passed by the Constitutional Convention at a session held on April 26, 1940, and in homage to the memory of the illustrious patriots who signed the Constitution of the Republic in arms at this town on April 10, 1869, we sign the present Constitution at Guáimaro, Camagüey, on July 1, 1940.


CARLOS MARQUEZ STERLING Y GUIRAL,

Chairman of the Constitutional Convention.

[Here follow the Signatures of the Representatives]


Footnotes

  1. Cuban Official Gazette No. 464, July 8, 1940.
  2. Vol. XC, page 382.
  3. Vol. XCIV, page 554.


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