Today: Poll Reveals Widespread Rejection of the Regime’s New Constitution

CubaData Poll Reveals Widespread Rejection of the Regime’s New Constitution

DDC | Madrid

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Poll results. (CUBADATA)

In spite of the Government’s repression and abuse of its great media apparatus to promote the approval of its new Constitution, 41.60% of Cubans are still willing to vote “No” in the referendum on February 24, and 16% say they will abstain.

These are the results of a survey by the CubaData project, corresponding to a sample of 1,000 Cubans from all over the country, polled between February 16 and 18.

According to the survey, only 42.40% of the respondents support the new constitutional text.

Should these numbers be borne out, it would constitute a debacle for the Government; which, in any case, is accustomed to citing implausible figures of electoral participation and support. It would also constitute a dramatic spurning by Cubans of “irrevocable socialism,” the absolute power of the single party, the prohibition of a free press, and wide latitude for the prosecution of “treason,” all provided for in the new Constitution.

The minimal difference between “Yes” voters (424 respondents) and No (416) constitutes a technical tie, but experts consulted by DIARIO DE CUBA underscored the immense disadvantages faced by the side opposing the constitutional reform process, such that the high percentage of those rejecting it, according to the survey, is truly impressive.

While conducting an intense “Yes” campaign through its media outlets (the only legal ones in the country) and in the public sphere, the regime represses those activists who oppose it.

Critics of the reform, for example, had no opportunity to make their arguments during the “popular consultation” process, overseen by the Communist Party. Nor have they been able to do so through the media.

In recent weeks the regime has ratcheted up its persecution of those publicly calling for a “No” vote in the referendum, or abstention.

Last week, a Culture official physically assaulted the poet Katherine Bisquet after a reading at the Havana Book Fair for wearing a #YoVotoNo t-shirt.

On February 11th, in Santiago de Cuba, the regime employed 200 agents, between police and assault troops, to raid eight houses of activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), an organization opposed to the new Constitution.

In the dramatic operation, some 10 activists were arrested and beaten, including a 16-year-old youth. The agents confiscated opponents’ work equipment and items.

In its poll CubaData asked the participants how they will vote in the referendum on February 24.

Of the 1,000 respondents, 691 were men and 309 were women. 515 had university studies, and 282, technical studies.

By age, most of the interviewees (439) were between 22 and 35 years old, while 295 were between 36 and 55, and 195 were between 16 and 21.

“No” did not have majority support (44.70%) among respondents ages 22 to 35, as 42.50% said they would vote “Yes”. The same was true among those between the ages of 36 and 55 (29.80% vs. 28.80%) and among those older than 56 (8.20% vs. 6.80%)

“Yes” received greater support among young people between the ages of 16 and 21 (22% vs. 17.30%).

Most of those who said they will not vote are between 36 and 55 years of age (30.60%), followed by young people ages 16 to 21 (15.70%)