National Assembly of People’s Power. Supreme organ of state power and the only one that has constitutional and legislative capacity. It is made up of deputies elected by the free, direct and secret vote of the voters, in proportion and according to the procedure determined by law. From its bosom, as an indispensable requirement, the directive positions of that Parliament, the members of the Council of State, the President and Vice President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.
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- 1 Parliamentary history of Cuba
- 1 Constitution of Guáimaro
- 2 Jimaguayú Assembly
- 3 Constitution of Baraguá
- 4 Assembly of La Yaya
- 5 Assembly of Santa Cruz
- 6 Government of the Republic
- 7 Revolutionary Government
- 7.1 Popular Power
- 2 Powers of the ANPP
- 3 Election of the leadership of the National Assembly and the Council of State
- 4 Nomination and election of the President and Vice President of the Republic
- 5 Presidency
- 6 Powers of the President of the ANPP
- 7 References
- 8 Sources
- 9 External links
Parliamentary history of Cuba
The parliamentary history of Cuba was born in unison with the cry for independence, when all the Cuban insurgent forces were integrated into a single government, whose first decision was to decree the equality of all men in this land, until that moment colonized by the Spanish slave empire.
The 16 of April of 1869 , in a humble town called Guáimaro in the east of the country, began the House of Representatives (mambí parliament) its legislative work, composed by a host of patriots like Carlos Manuel de Céspedes , Ignacio Agramonte , José Joaquín Palma , Eduardo Machado , Antonio Zambrana and others, who dedicated their efforts to endowing the emancipatory contest with an institutional structure, setting the principles of the politics of war and the democratic bases of the Republic in Arms , with guarantees for liberties and essential human rights.
In the two wars of independence led by the Mambises ( 1868 – 1878 and 1895 – 1898 ), this attitude of respect for the institutions – even in the midst of bloody fighting – will always be present. This is evidenced by the fact that during that time four constitutions have been proclaimed, three of them in towns in the province of Camaguey, (that of Guáimaro , in 1869 ; that of Jimaguayú , in 1895; that of La Yaya in 1897) would establish the same principles, although each one more comprehensive and appropriate to the events and trends of the time, regarding declaring the revolutionary struggle as the only way to achieve absolute independence and to establish a sovereign republic.
The other was adopted in the agonizing days of March 1878, after the virile attitude of General Antonio Maceo in his energetic Protest of Baraguá before the capitulating character of the Pact of Zanjón . This Constitution, known by the name of Baraguá , gave a legal basis to the very essence of the historic protest, stating that peace could only be made on the basis of independence.
The first Constitution of the Republic in Arms was held in Guáimaro , a territory located east of Camagüey , and where the main protagonists of the insurrection met in April 1869 , just a few months after the first contest for the freedom of the nation began. In this meeting, in which the most valuable representatives of independence participated, the essentials of unity within the revolution prevailed over the different conceptions held up to now in the insurgent camp.
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes’ criteria on a single command, where civil and military functions were controlled by the same person, apparently opposed each other from the Camagüeyans, who were in favor of separating the two powers, with an internal division of the civil command. At last, the coherent and firm block made up of Camagüeyans and Villares was imposed, in which the young lawyer Ignacio Agramonte y Loynaz marked his mark , from whose pen the draft constitution emerged. The delegates approved a Magna Carta that regulated the structure of the leadership apparatus with the division into the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
Carlos Manuel de Céspedes was designated the first President of the Republic in Arms, and Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, from Camagüey, was elected vice-president . Guáimaro also marked an important guideline with the voice of Ana Betancourtfrom Mora. For the first time in public, a woman defended women’s rights with the passion that characterizes the most resistant and willful sex. Ana Betancourt sued the revolutionary authorities for the cessation of female exploitation, and expressed the will of the Cubans to defend the homeland of voice and action. The assembly also selected the flag of the lone star as a national banner, and in article 24 of its Constitution indicated as a starting point for an already irreversible process: “All the inhabitants of the republic are entirely free.” This highlighted the principle advocated by Cespedes of the abolition of slavery, an essential condition for the birth of a truly free and sovereign nation. For the first time in Cuba Representatives of the different territories joined forces and presented a single combat block.
Guáimaro was the right place to provide Cubans with the essential legal apparatus. From then on, the Republic in Arms was recognized by various governments and marked its mark on the evolutionary process of Cuban thought.
The 16 of September of 1895 a delegation of the Liberation Army of the Republic of Cuba in Arms proclaimed the Constitution of Jimaguayú. This Magna Carta established a government council made up of six figures that united the executive and legislative powers and that did not interfere with the military apparatus. Salvador Cisneros Betancourt , from Camagüey, was chosen as President of the Republic in Arms , and Bartolomé Masó was vice-president . On the other hand, Carlos Roloff , Severo Pina Estrada , Santiago García Cañizares were in the Secretaries of War, Finance, Interior and Exteriorand Rafael Portuondo Tamayo , respectively.
The Magna Carta of Jimaguayú constituted, in itself, a formula to organize internally the revolution of 1895 . However, in its article 24 it established the obligation that if in two years the war was not won, another assembly should be called. This decision was very successful and eliminated the difficulties that the absence of a similar mechanism had caused for Guáimaro; At the same time, the unification achieved in that of Jimaguayú was a step forward in the revolutionary organization.
At the end of the interview under the Mangos de Baraguá , in March 1878 , General Arsenio Martínez Campos had asked Maceo how long he needed for hostilities to resume. Eight days, it was the lightning response he received. As one of those bizarre Mambi soldiers present exclaimed, on March 23 the corojo would break. Martínez Campos retired and hours later he wrote:
“History will judge who has been right in this matter.”
When the island’s telegraphs communicated the news that fighters from the East had refused to fold their flags, a wave of amazement and admiration spread everywhere and the name of General Antonio Maceo crossed Cuba’s borders forever . He had saved the honor of the Cubans.
Maceo knew that it was necessary to hurry all the preparations for the continuation of the battle and, among these, to establish a new legality. So the 104 officers gathered in their camp were called to create the new Mambisa institutionality. It was already night when the officer corps, without the presence of the chiefs, Maceo, Manuel de Jesús Calvar , Titá, and Vicente García , who had just arrived at the camp, became a deliberative body. Who presided, Colonel Silverio del PradoHe began by exposing that before them there was an option of honor: to follow Maceo or the cowardice of the pact. The unanimous cries of those present did not let him advance: To war! To war! They proclaimed. Later, a commission elected by that board decided, by means of a simple constitution of six articles, the new institutionality whose essential bases consisted of the formation of a four-member government that would elect a chief general and be empowered to make peace on the basis of the independence.
Any other determination could only be made by authorization of the people. At midnight the clarion call of silence closed a day that would reverberate forever in the history of Cuba.
Assembly of La Yaya
The war was prolonged without triumphing yet, and in September 1897 Article 24 of the Jimaguayú Constitution , designed for this purpose , became effective . But the La Yaya Assembly was marked by discrepancies between the civil and the military, and also by the growing American interest in events in Cuba .
Already the neighbor to the north was sharpening his claws and dreamed of seizing the small island, rich in resources but bled to death in a cruel and protracted war. In this assembly the delegates elected Bartolomé Masó Márquez as president of the Republic in Arms ; to Domingo Mendez Capote , as vice president, and they entrusted the portfolios of Finance, War, Interior and Exterior, to Ernesto Fonts Sterling , José Braulio German , Manuel Ramón Silva and Andres Moreno de la Torre , respectively. At the time of the La Yaya Assembly, there was an unstable and dangerous international situation, and it was no less than the United States.At times the pressure was increasing for Spain to end the war.
For this reason, the Constitution inserted an article that established the call to a new assembly with full powers to decide on the future of the country in the event that the Spanish leave the island or the Cubans occupy a substantial part of the territory. The transcendence of this agreement would be evident in late 1898 . Because the United States did not want to miss the excellent opportunity to seize Cuba, a long-coveted prey that was practically ready to fall into its predatory hands.
Assembly of Santa Cruz
In October 1898 the national situation required compliance with the aforementioned La Yaya Constitution agreement , and the Assembly of Santa Cruz was convened , which went down in history with that name, although in 1899 it was moved several times and, finally , settled in Cerro , Havana . This Assembly did not have a true leader to unify criteria and control opinions and projects. Although full of love for Cuba and good intentions, she could do little in particularly troubled times in which the achievement of the independence objective for which torrents of blood had been spilled was so much in jeopardy. In late 1899Tomas Estrada Palma dissolved the Cuban Revolutionary Party , founded by José Martí , and which had remained under his leadership after the death of the hero, which led to the weakening of the ideological unity of the revolution and in fact eliminated an effective link of cohesion.
The Assembly of Santa Cruz proposed to assume the leadership of the country and implement the creation of the state. He appointed a commission to go to the United States and define the future of Cuba, always with the aim of establishing a free and sovereign nation. But the US government did not consider her “official” and, therefore, did not recognize her as a representative of the Cuban people. The United States entered the Cuban-Spanish war and falsely made it Spanish-Cuban-American, through the self-attack on the battleship Maine.
The North American intervention in the Spanish-Cuban conflict stripped the Mambises of their deserved victory conquered at the edge of the machete in the flames, as a new type of filibuster act, characteristic of the emerging North American imperialism.
The 20 of maypole of 1902 he is granted to Cuba formal independence with a constitutional amendment imposed by Congress American (the Amendment Platt ), which among other things gave to the United States the right to intervene on their territory if it so desired and with a Yankee naval base.
The sarcasm of that republic could not be greater. The United States claimed the right to intervene and forced the island’s government to consult the main decisions, while the Constitution put into effect by order 181 of the Yankee military governor in 1901 , said in its first article that:
“The people of Cuba become an independent and sovereign State and adopt the Republic as a form of government.”
And, in its article 43, it stated:
“That sovereignty resides in the people of Cuba and all public powers derive from it.”
In the midst of these fictions, Congress was constituted with the Senate and the House of Representatives ; The President of the Republic was elected and the scaffolding of the neo-colony was created.
But the republic was born frustrated. The privileges of caste and wealth denatured all the longings of Céspedes, Agramonte, Gómez, Maceo and José Martí, the most advanced and capable of the liberators, organizer and guide of the liberating war of 1895 . Corrupted political parties arose, a police of denunciation and an army of oppression were formed, which found in the North American government an effective provider of funds and arms to repress the people; a judicial power dedicated to serving the highest bidder was instituted; a servile press proliferated.
An unequivocal proof of this is the fact that that first republican congress, as a first decree, authorized the executive to contract a loan of 35,000,000 pesos that would be used to pay the veterans of the Liberation Army . Greed immediately set up a monstrous machinery of looting and usury; only half of those funds would be destined for those purposes, the rest would enrich the coffers of that plague of brand-new politicians from the club.
Corruption reached an unimaginable climax. Theft, exaction, fraud and swindling were like our daily bread in that gangster world that emerged with the republic itself, from Estrada Palma in 1902, to Fulgencio Batista , in 1958 .
The politicians, senators as well as representatives, contemptuously known as “manengues”, were bought through participation in contracts, in the lottery or in juicy businesses such as the proliferation of the hotel chain that sought to establish the American mafia in the capital of the island, being partners in the criminal responsibility of the devastating dictatorships that mourned thousands of Cuban homes with their brutal methods.
Among the significant events that stood out in that half century, the renewing action of the revolutionary leaders Julio Antonio Mella and Rubén Martínez Villena , and the worthy revolutionary attitude of Antonio Guiteras in the 1930s, after the popular victory that gave to the fret with the bloody tyranny of Gerardo Machado , Guiteras, who at the head of the Ministry of the Interior, in an attempt to redeem the manhood of those who fell in the independence struggle, decreed the most radical measures of that pseudo-republic, including the nationalization of American monopoly companies.
Yankee support for the arch-criminal Fulgencio Batista, in collusion with the political parties, cut off those beautiful pages of dignity. Guiteras was soon displaced, American property was restored, and the assassins mounted a relentless persecution until they cut the life of that revolutionary, when he was preparing to go abroad to prepare the armed struggle for the new revolution.
The other significant event was staged between 1939 and 1940 , the few progressive representatives of the Constituent Assembly who forced the remaining representatives to adopt a constitution that in its letter meant a step forward, but which never happened from the texts; To fulfill its precepts, a revolution was required, a burden on the machete, as requested by the poet and prominent revolutionary Rubén Martínez Villena, to end the rascals.
That was the one that began in 1953 , under the supreme leadership of Fidel Castro , in Moncada , continued with the landing of the yacht Granma in 1956 and triumphed after a heroic and self-sacrificing fight in the fields and cities at the dawn of January 1 from 1959 .
The institutionalization of the revolution began from the moment the entire system of the pseudo-republic collapsed, even when the revolutionary government fulfilled functions with a certain degree of provisionality during its first 15 years of existence.
As Fidel Castro explained at the First Party Congress:
“The Revolution did not rush to endow the country with definitive state forms. It was not simply a matter of covering a file, but of creating solid, well-thought-out and lasting institutions that responded to the realities of the country.”
Those years ( 1959 to 1975 ) were characterized by a situation of profound, radical and accelerated revolutionary changes, where it was also necessary to face the successive and increasingly violent aggressions by imperialism and the internal counter-revolution.
In order to cope at this juncture and face the tasks of the moment, an agile, operative and effective state apparatus was required, which exercised the representation of the working people and could make quick decisions, without much delay.
The revolutionary government, concentrating in itself the legislative, executive and administrative powers, adequately fulfilled its functions throughout the first phase of the struggle for survival: it dictated the revolutionary laws, expropriated the exploiters, developed basic social mutations, carried out successfully the political struggle against external and internal aggressions. Massively supported by the people, the revolutionary government in this period promoted vast and profound political, economic, social and cultural transformations in Cuban life.
In 1974 , the government decided to carry out an experience in the establishment of the People’s Power Bodies in the localities in the province of Matanzas , in the west of the island .
The aim of this experience was to confirm a whole series of criteria referring to methodological forms for the best functioning of the representative institutions of the state, as well as demographic, territorial and, among other relationships, administrative and business relationships.
From the beginning of its application, a citizen participation in the tasks of the local government and in the control of the administration was appreciated, as well as in the search for solutions to the problems that most affected the community.
The fruits of that experience materialized in the decisions adopted to structure the entire system of state representative institutions that culminated in the creation of the People’s Power Bodies in the 169 municipalities and the 14 provinces in which the country is divided.
10 and 17 of October of 1976 , on first and second rounds of elections, 95.2% of all Cubans over 16 years, by secret and direct vote at the polls, chose from among more than 30,000 candidates for the 10 725 delegates (councilmen) to the 169 municipal assemblies of the People’s Power (town councils).
Later, with the establishment of the National Assembly of People ‘s Power (ANPP) the 2 of December of 1976 , the election of the State Council , its President and Vice – Presidents, and the appointment of the Council of Ministers , the democratic essence strengthened Revolution by putting in place more effective forms of participation in public life, which made possible a more direct intervention of citizens in the management of state affairs and all the activities of society.
As the supreme body, the National Assembly of People’s Power exercises control of the country’s Constitutionality and, if necessary, is the power to establish general and mandatory interpretations of the Constitution and laws.
The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, the Council of State, the judicial and control bodies of the country, the agencies of the Central State Administration and the provincial governments report to the Assembly.
Powers of the ANPP
According to article 108 of the Constitution of the Republic , it corresponds to the National Assembly of People’s Power  :
- agree on amendments to the Constitution, pursuant to the provisions of Title XI;
- give the Constitution and the laws, if necessary, a general and obligatory interpretation, in correspondence with the procedure provided for in the law;
- approve, modify or repeal the laws and submit them previously to popular consultation when it deems it appropriate, taking into account the nature of the legislation in question;
- adopt agreements in correspondence with the laws in force and control their compliance;
- exercise constitutional control over laws, statutory decrees, presidential decrees, decrees and other general provisions, in accordance with the procedure provided by law;
- ratify the decree-laws and agreements of the Council of State;
- totally or partially revoke the decree-laws, presidential decrees, decrees, agreements or general provisions that contradict the Constitution or the laws;
- revoke totally or partially the agreements or provisions of the municipal assemblies of the People’s Power that contravene the Constitution, the laws, the decree-laws, the presidential decrees, decrees and other provisions issued by competent bodies, or those that affect the interests of other localities or the generals of the country;
- discuss and approve the general objectives and goals of the short, medium and long-term plans, based on economic and social development;
- approve the principles of the economic and social development management system;
- discuss and approve the state budget and control its compliance;
- agree on the monetary, financial and fiscal systems;
- establish, modify or extinguish the taxes;
- approve the general guidelines of foreign and internal policy;
- declare a State of War or War in case of military aggression and approve peace treaties;
- establish and modify the political-administrative division; approve administrative subordination regimes, special regulatory systems to municipalities or other territorial demarcations and to administrative districts, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and laws;
- appoint permanent, temporary commissions and parliamentary friendship groups;
- exercise the highest control over the State organs;
- know and evaluate the reports and analyzes of the state business systems that, due to their magnitude and economic and social significance, are relevant;
- know, evaluate and adopt decisions on the accountability reports submitted by the Council of State, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Council of Ministers, the Supreme People’s Court, the Attorney General of the Republic, the Comptroller General of the Republic and the organisms of the Central State Administration, as well as the provincial governments;
- create or extinguish the bodies of the Central State Administration or arrange any other organizational measure that may be appropriate;
- grant amnesties;
- provide for the convening of referendums or plebiscites in the cases provided for in the Constitution and in others that the Assembly itself deems appropriate;
- agree on its regulations and that of the Council of State, and
- the other powers conferred on it by this Constitution.
According to article 109 of the Constitution of the Republic, the National Assembly of People’s Power, in exercise of its powers  :
- elects the President and Vice President of the Republic;
- elects its President, Vice President and Secretary;
- elects the members of the Council of State;
- designates, on the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister;
- appoints, on the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Deputy Prime Ministers and other members of the Council of Ministers;
- elects the President of the Supreme People’s Court, the Attorney General of the Republic and the Comptroller General of the Republic;
- elects the President and the other members of the National Electoral Council;
- elects the vice presidents and magistrates of the Supreme People’s Court, as well as the lay judges of this instance;
- elects the vice-prosecutors and vice-comptrollers general of the Republic, and
- revokes or replaces the persons chosen or designated by it.
The law regulates the procedure to make these powers effective.
Election of the leadership of the National Assembly and the Council of State
The popular base that supports the deputies who come to occupy the main responsibilities of the Cuban State, Government and Parliament. Everyone had to submit to the people’s vote first.
Election in the National Assembly of People’s Power
The election of the leadership of the National Assembly and the Council of State takes place under the direction of the president of the National Electoral Council and for its celebration the presence of at least two thirds of the total number of deputies that make up the National Assembly is required. of the Popular Power  .
The president of the National Electoral Council invites the president of the National Nominations Commission to present the proposals of candidates for the positions of president, vice-president and secretary of the National Assembly of People’s Power, who at the same time will have equal responsibility in the Council of State.
Once the candidacy has been presented, the president of the National Electoral Council asks the deputies if they want to exclude any or some of the proposed ones; The exclusion of members of the candidacy can only be agreed by the favorable vote of the majority of the deputies present, in a public vote.
Concluded these procedures, the president of the National Electoral Council submits for approval the project of candidacy, through a public vote, which is approved if he obtains more than fifty (50) percent of the votes of the deputies present.
Subsequently, the President of the National Nominations Commission presents the 18 candidates to be members of the Council of State, in addition to the 3 members of the leadership. The Council of State will therefore have 21 members.
Once the candidacy has been presented, the president of the National Electoral Council asks the deputies if they want to exclude any or some of the proposed ones; the exclusion can only be agreed by the favorable vote of the majority of the deputies present, in a public vote.
After the above, the president of the National Electoral Council submits for approval the project of candidacy for the nomination of the other members of the Council of State
The president of the National Electoral Council, once both candidacies are approved, explains the way in which the voting is carried out, indicates to distribute both ballots to the deputies present and asks them to carry out the vote, which is carried out by free vote, equal, direct and secret.
The National Electoral Council scrutinizes both ballots, its president announces its results, beginning with the election to the positions of president, vice president and secretary of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State, after which it reports in relation to the other members of the Council of State; declares elected those who have obtained more than fifty (50) percent of the valid votes cast.
In the event that any of the candidates has not obtained the required number of votes, a new proposal is presented by the National Nominations Commission and a new election is held.
The elect take up their positions before the National Assembly of People’s Power.
Nomination and election of the President and Vice President of the Republic
The process of nomination and election of the President and Vice President of the Republic is directed by the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power  .
The President of the National Nominations Commission presents the members of this candidacy, selected from among the deputies and who must meet the other requirements established by the Constitution of the Republic to occupy these positions.
For the approval of this candidacy, the president of the National Assembly of People’s Power submits it to the public vote of the deputies.
The president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, once the candidacy has been approved by more than fifty (50) percent of the deputies present, explains the way in which the voting is carried out, indicates to distribute the ballot to the deputies present and requests those who carry out the voting, which is carried out by means of a free, equal, direct and secret vote.
The count is carried out by the National Electoral Council and its president reports the results of the vote.
The president of the National Assembly of People’s Power, based on the reported results, declares the President and Vice President of the Republic elected to those who have obtained the favorable vote of the absolute majority of the deputies who make up the National Assembly of People’s Power.
In the event that one of the candidates has not obtained the required number of votes, another proposal is presented by the National Nominations Commission and a new election is held.
The President and Vice President of the Republic, once declared elected, take office.
The President of the Republic takes office before the National Assembly of People’s Power, as provided.
|I Legislature||1976 – 1981||Blas Roca Calderío||Raúl Roa||José Arañaburu García|
|II Legislature||1981 – 1986||Flavio Bravo Pardo||Jorge Lezcano Pérez||José Arañaburu García|
|III Legislature||1986 – 1993||Flavio Bravo Pardo
(1986 – f. 1987 )
Severo Aguirre del Cristo
(1987 – f. 1990 )
Juan Escalona Reguera
|Severo Aguirre del Cristo
(1986 – f. 1990)
Zoila Benitez de Mendoza
|Ernesto Suárez Méndez|
|IV Legislature||1993 – 1998||Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada||Jaime Crombet Hernández-Baquero||Ernesto Suárez Méndez|
|V Legislature||1998 – 2003||Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada||Jaime Crombet Hernández-Baquero||Ernesto Suárez Méndez|
|VI Legislature||2003 – 2008||Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada||Jaime Crombet Hernández-Baquero||Ernesto Suárez Méndez|
|VII Legislature||2008 – 2013||Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada||Jaime Crombet Hernández-Baquero
( 2008 – 2012  )
Ana María Mari Machado 
|Miriam Brito Sarroca|
|VIII Legislature||2013 – 2018||Esteban Lazo Hernández ||Ana María Mari Machado||Miriam Brito Sarroca|
|IX Legislature||2018 – 2023||Esteban Lazo Hernández ||Ana María Mari Machado||Homero Acosta Álvarez |
Powers of the President of the ANPP
Article 111 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba includes the powers of the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, which are  :
- Comply with and ensure respect for the Constitution and laws;
- Preside over the sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State;
- Convene the ordinary sessions of the National Assembly;
- Convene ordinary and extraordinary sessions of the Council of State;
- Propose the draft agenda for the sessions of the National Assembly and the Council of State;
- Sign the laws, decree-laws and agreements adopted by the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State, as appropriate, and order the publication of the decree-laws and agreements in the Official Gazette of the Republic;
- Direct the international relations of the National Assembly of People’s Power;
- Direct and organize the work of the permanent and temporary commissions that are created by the National Assembly of People’s Power or the Council of State, as appropriate;
- Direct and organize the relations of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State with the state organs;
- Control compliance with the agreements of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State;
- Ensuring the proper link between the deputies and the voters,
- And the other attributions that by this Constitution, the National Assembly of Popular Power or the Council of State are assigned