ELECCIONES EN CUBA: EL PODER DEL PUEBLO

The structure of Cuban State

In the Republic of Cuba sovereignty lies in the people, from whom originates all the power of the state. That power is exercised directly or through the assemblies of People's Power and other state bodies which derive their authority from these assemblies, in the form and according to the norms established in the Constitution and by law.

HIGHER BODIES OF PEOPLE'S POWER:

· The National Assembly of People's Power:

The National Assembly of People's Power is the supreme body of state power and represents and expresses the sovereign will of all the people.

The National Assembly of People's Power is the only body in the Republic invested with constituent and legislative authority.

The National Assembly of People's Power is comprised of deputies elected by free, direct and secret vote, in the proportion and according to the procedure established by law.

The National Assembly of People's Power is elected for a period of five years.

The period can only extended by virtue of a resolution of the Assembly itself in the event of war or in the case of other exceptional circumstances that may impede the normal holding of elections and while such circumstances exist.

The National Assembly of People's Power, on meeting for a new legislature, elects from among its deputies its president, vice president and secretary. The law regulates the manner and procedure in which the Assembly is constituted and carries out this election.

The National Assembly of People's Power elects, from among its deputies, the Council of State, which consists of one president, one first vice president, five vice presidents, one secretary and 23 other members.

The president of the Council of State is, at the same time, the head of state and head of government.

The Council of State is accountable for its action to the National Assembly of People's Power, to which it must render accounts of all its activities.

The National Assembly of People's Power is invested with the following powers:

a) deciding on reforms to the Constitution according to that established in Article 137;

b) approving, modifying and annulling laws after consulting with the people when it is considered necessary in view of the nature of the law in question;

c) deciding on the constitutionality of laws, decree-laws, decrees and all other general provisions;

d) revoking in total or in part the decree-laws issued by the Council of State;

e) discussing and approving the national plans for economic and social development;

f) discussing and approving the state budget;

g) approving the principles of the system for planning and the management of the national economy;

h) approving the monetary and credit system;

i) approving the general outlines of foreign and domestic policy;

j) declaring a state of war in the event of military aggression and approving peace treaties;

k) establishing and modifying the political-administrative division of the country pursuant to that established in Article 102;

l) electing the president, vice president and secretary of the National Assembly;

m) electing the president, the first vice president, the vice presidents, the secretary, and the other members of the Council of State;

n) approving, at the initiative of the president of the Council of State, the first vice president, the vice presidents and the other members of the Council of Ministers;

o) electing the president, vice presidents and other judges of the People's Supreme Court;

p) electing the attorney general and the deputy attorney generals of the Republic;

q) appointing permanent and temporary commissions;

r) revoking the election or appointment of those persons elected or appointed by it;

s) exercising the highest supervision over state and government bodies;

t) keeping informed and evaluating and adopting pertinent decisions on the reports on the rendering of accounts submitted by the Council of State, the Council of Ministers, the People's Supreme Court, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic and the Provincial Assemblies of People's Power.

u) revoking those provisions or decree-laws of the Council of State and the decrees or resolutions of the Council of Ministers which are contrary to the Constitution or the law;

v) revoking or modifying those resolutions or provisions of the local bodies of People's Power which encroach on the Constitution, the laws, the decree-laws, the decrees and other provisions issued by a higher body, or those which are detrimental to the interests of other localities or the general interests of the nation;

w) granting amnesty;

x) calling for the holding of a referendum in those cases provided by the Constitution and others which the Assembly considers pertinent; y) establishing its ruler and regulations;

z) all other powers invested by this Constitution.

· The Council of State:

The Council of State is the body of the National Assembly of People's Power that represents it in the period between sessions, puts its resolutions into effect and complies with all the other duties assigned by the Constitution.

It is collegiate and for national and international purposes it is the highest representative of the Cuban state.

The Council of State is invested with the power to:

a) summon special sessions of the National Assembly of People's Power;

b) set the date for the elections for the periodic renovation of the National Assembly of People's Power;

c) issue decree-laws in the period between the sessions of the National Assembly of People's Power;

d) give existing laws a general and obligatory interpretation whenever necessary;

e) exercise legislative initiative;

f) make all the necessary arrangements for the holding of referendums called for by the National Assembly of People's Power;

g) decree a general mobilization whenever the defense of the country makes it necessary and assume the authority to declare war in the event of aggression or to approve peace treaties - duties which the Constitution assigns to the National Assembly of People's Power - when the Assembly is in recess and cannot be called to session with the necessary security and urgency;

h) replace, at the initiative of its president, the members of the Council of Ministers in the period between the sessions of the National Assembly of People's Power;

i) issue general instructions to the courts through the Governing Council of the People's Supreme Court;

j) issue instructions to the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic;

k) appoint and remove, at the initiative of its president, the diplomatic representatives of Cuba in others states;

l) grant decorations and honorary titles;

m) name commissions;

n) grant pardons;

o) ratify or denounce international treaties;

p) grant or refuse recognition to diplomatic representatives of other states;

q) suspend those provisions of the Council of Ministers and the resolutions and provisions of the Local Assemblies of People's Power which run counter to the Constitution or the law or which run counter to the interests of other localities or to the general interests of the country, reporting on this action to the National Assembly of People's Power in the first session held following the suspension agreed upon;

r) revoke those resolutions and provisions of the local bodies of People's Power which infringe the Constitution, the laws, the decree-laws, the decrees and other provisions issued by a higher body or when they are detrimental to the interests of other localities or to the general interests of the nation;

s) approve its rules and regulations;

t) it is also invested with the other powers conferred by the Constitution and laws or granted by the National Assembly of People's Power.

All the decisions of the Council of State are adopted by a simple majority vote of its members.

The mandate entrusted to the Council of State by the National Assembly of People's Power expires when the new Council of State, elected by virtue of its periodic renovation, takes power.

· The Council of Ministres:

The Council of Ministers is the highest ranking executive and administrative body and constitutes the government of the Republic.

The number, denomination and functions of the ministries and central agencies making up the Council of Ministers are determined by law.

The Council of Ministers is composed of the head of state and government, as its president, the first vice president, the vice presidents, the ministers, the secretary and the other members that the law determines.

The president, first vice president, vice presidents and other members of the Council of Ministers, as determined by the president, make up the Executive Committee.

In periods between the meetings of the Council of Ministers, the Executive Committee can decide on matters under the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers is invested with the power to:

a) organize and conduct the political, economic, cultural, scientific, social and defense activities outlined by the National Assembly of People's Power;

b) propose the draft general plans for the socioeconomic development of the state and, after these are approved by the National Assembly of People's Power, organize, conduct and supervise their implementation;

c) conduct the foreign policy of the Republic and relations with other governments;

d) approve international treaties and submit them to ratification by the Council of State;

e) direct and control foreign trade;

f) draw up the draft for the state budget and, once it is approved by the National Assembly of People's Power, to see to its implementation;

g) adopt measures aimed at strengthening the monetary and credit system;

h) draw up bills and submit them to the consideration of the National Assembly of people's Power or the Council of State, accordingly;

i) see to national defense, the maintenance of order and security at home, the protection of citizens' rights and the protection of lives and property in the event of natural disasters;

j) conduct the administration of the state and unify, coordinate and supervise the activities of the agencies of the central administration and local administrations;

k) implement the laws and resolutions of the National Assembly of People's Power and the decree-laws and provisions issued by the Council of State and, if necessary, dictate the corresponding regulations;

l) issue decrees and provisions on the basis of and pursuant to the existing laws and supervise their implementation;

m) revoke the decisions taken by those administrations subordinated to the Provincial or Municipal Assemblies of People's Power, adopted according to the powers delegated by the central state administration agencies, when these are contrary to the instructions issued from a higher level and whose fulfillment is compulsory;

n) propose to the Provincial and Municipal Assemblies of People's Power the revocation of those provisions adopted during their specific activities by the provincial and municipal administrations subordinated to them, when these are contrary to the instructions approved by the central state administration agencies, in the exercise of their functions;

o) revoke those provisions issued by heads of central state administration agencies when these are contrary to the instructions issued from a higher level and whose fulfillment is compulsory;

p) propose to the National Assembly of People's Power or to the Council of State the suspension of those resolutions and provisions issued by the local assemblies of People's Power which infringe existing laws and other provisions or are detrimental to the interests of other communities or the general interests of the nation;

q) name the commissions it deems necessary to facilitate the fulfillment of the tasks assigned to it;

r) appoint and remove officials in keeping with the powers it is invested with by the law;

s) assume any duty assigned to it by the National Assembly of People's Power or the Council of State.

The law regulates the organization and functioning of the Council of Ministers.

The Council of Ministers is accountable to and periodically renders account of its activities to the National Assembly of People's Power.

· The National Defense Council:

The National Defense Council is constituted and prepared during peacetime to lead the country in conditions of a state of war, during a war, a general mobilization or a state of emergency. The law regulates its organization and activities.

LOCAL BODIES OF PEOPLE'S POWER

The Assemblies of People's Power set up in the political-administrative divisions into which the country is divided are the higher local bodies of state power. Therefore, they are invested with the highest authority for the exercise of their state functions within their respective boundaries. To this effect they govern in all that is under their jurisdiction and the law.

They also aid in the development of activities and the fulfillment of plans of those units in their territory which are not subordinated to them, as prescribed by law.

The local administrations established by these Assemblies direct the economic, production and service entities locally subordinated to them, with the purpose of meeting the needs for economic, health care, assistance, educational, cultural, sports and recreational services of the collective in the territory under the jurisdiction of each.

For the exercise of their functions the local Assemblies of People's Power find support in the People's Councils and the initiative and broad participation of the population and they act in close coordination with the social and mass organizations.

The People's Councils are constituted in cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas; they are invested with the highest authority for carrying out their functions; they represents the territory where they carry out their functions and also represent the municipal, provincial and national bodies of People's Power.

They work actively for efficiency in the development of production and service activities and for meeting the needs for health care, economic, educational, cultural and social activities of the population, promoting the broadest participation of the population and the local initiatives to resolve their problems.

They coordinate the work of the existing entities in their field of action, promote cooperation among them and control and supervise their activities.

The People's Councils are made up of the delegates elected in the districts, who must choose among themselves their president. The representatives of mass organizations and the most important institutions in the territory may form part of the Councils.

The law regulates the organizations and functions of the People's Councils.

In the limits of their jurisdiction, the Provincial Assemblies of People's Power are invested with the power to:

a) obey and help to enforce the laws and other general regulations adopted by the higher state bodies;

b) approve and control the execution of the province's income and spending budget and plan, according to the policies agreed upon by the competent national agencies;

c) elect or recall the president and vice president of the Provincial Assembly;

d) designate or substitute the secretary of the Assembly;

e) participate in the drawing up and supervision of the state budget and technical-economic plan, corresponding to the entities located in its territory and subordinated to other bodies, as prescribed by law;

f) control and supervise the activities of the provincial administration body with the help of its work commissions;

g) designate or substitute the members of the provincial administration body, at the proposal of its president;

h) determine, according to the principles established by the Council of Ministers, the organization, functioning and tasks of the entities in charge of carrying out the economic, production and services, educational, health care, cultural, sports, protection of the environment and recreational activities, which are subordinated to the provincial administration body;

i) adopt agreements concerning administration matters in its territory and which, according to law, do not correspond to the general jurisdiction of the central state administration or to that of the municipal bodies of state power;

j) approve the creation and organization of the People's Councils at the proposal of the Municipal Assemblies of People's Power;

k) revoke, in the framework of its jurisdiction, the decisions adopted by the provincial administration body or propose their revocation to the Council of Ministers when these decisions have been adopted while acting according to the faculties entrusted to them by the central state administration agencies;

l) study and evaluate the rendering of accounts reports presented by their administration body and the Assemblies of People's Power which are their subordinates, and adopt the pertinent decisions regarding those reports;

m) set up or dissolve work commissions;

n) attend to all that relevant to the application of the policy on cadres drawn up by the higher state bodies;

o) strengthen legality, public order and the country's defense capacity;

p) assume any other duty assigned by the Constitution and by law.

In the limits of their jurisdiction, the Municipal Assemblies of People's power are invested with the power to:

a) obey and help to enforce the laws and other general regulations adopted by the higher state bodies;

b) select or recall the president and vice president of the Assembly;

c) designate or substitute the secretary of the Assembly;

d) supervise and control the entities subordinated to the municipal body, with the support of the work commissions;

e) revoke or modify the resolutions and measures of the bodies or authorities subordinated to them which are contrary to the Constitution or the laws, decrees-laws, decrees, resolutions enacted by the higher state bodies or those which affect the interest of the community, of other territories or the general interests of the country, or propose their revocation to the Council of Ministers when they have been adopted while acting according to the faculties entrusted to them by the central state administration agencies;

f) adopt agreements and enact measures in the framework of the Constitution and the laws in force, on matters of municipal interest, and control their application;

g) designate or substitute the members of its administration body on the proposal of its president;

h) determine, according to the principles established by the Council of Ministers, the organization, functioning and tasks of the entities in charge of carrying out economic, production and services, and health care activities, and others such as assistance, educational, cultural, sports, protection of the environment and recreational activities which are subordinated to its administration body;

i) propose the creation and organization of the People's Councils, as established by law;

j) constitute or dissolve work commissions;

k) approve the municipality's socioeconomic plan and budget, following the policy drawn up for this by the competent agencies of the central state administration, and control their execution;

l) help in the development of activities and the fulfillment of production and service plans of the entities located in their territory which are not subordinated to them, for which they can draw support from their work commissions and administration body;

m) study and evaluate the rendering of accounts reports presented by their administration body and adopt the pertinent decisions thereof;

n) attend to all that having to do with the application of the policy on cadres drawn up by the higher state bodies:

o) strengthen legality, public order and the country's defense capacity;

p) carry out any other functions assigned by the Constitution and by law.

 
   

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