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Cubans set to vote "yes" or "no" in referendum about the constitution

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By Louise Miner  with Reuters
Cubans set to vote "yes" or "no" in referendum about the constitution
Copyright  REUTERS/Fernando Medina

Cubans will go to the polls on Sunday to vote in a referendum about changing the constitution.

The new document will recognise private property for the first time, the role of foreign investment and the Internet.

The government has marketed the "yes" campaign as being patriotic whilst the "no" opponents believe their vote would be a step towards ending the communist rule.

Niurkys Hernandez, a Cuban resident said, "My vote is yes for Cuba, to help Miguel Diaz Canel (President of Cuba) because we are going through difficult times, in hard times, we have to rise up because I am a Fidelista (supporter of Fidel Castro)"

Luis Son, a Cuban resident said, "Absolute 'no', it doesn't exist, (reporter: why?) Because it solves nothing, neither 'yes' or 'no', neither one resolves anything. (reporter: Why do you believe this?) The vote is just a performance"

The current charter was approved in 1976 with 97.7 percent of the population voting yes.

This time the percentage of people voting "no" could be more, according to analysts.

"This time, I would say that around three-quarters of the population will vote yes," said Rafael Hernandez, a leading Cuban political analyst, and editor of Temas, a reform-orientated cultural magazine.

It's reported by Reuters, that according to foreign businessmen in the country, changing the constitution is a step towards a mixed and modern economy and society.