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Loving Cuba and its patriotic symbols

Published: 2019.05.13 - 14:56:58   /  /  Ana Rosa Perdomo Sangermés  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

Loving Cuba and its patriotic symbols

The debate on the Bill of the National Symbols of the Republic of Cuba has become a fertile exercise of participation and is already becoming, more than a necessary practice, an experience that will become frequent as the legislative implementation of what has been approved in the Constitution advances since 24 February 2019.

This is going to be the first Act to be effective after the approval of the Magna Carta and, unlike others that will be promulgated later, its characteristic is that it will be a regulation in itself, where rules will be established for its preparation, use, honors to be rendered and conservation, as well as the responsibility of the State in achieving greater education of the people and especially of children and young people in the knowledge and respect for patriotic symbols.

It must be taken into account that a symbol is a figure, an object that represents something or someone. To symbolize, therefore, is to express an idea by means of a symbol. In Cuba, as in all the nations of the world, symbols are material representations, identified with the concept of homeland: the National Flag, the National Anthem and the National Coat of Arms.

The Bill on National Symbols, which was already in the process of creation and analysis before the popular referendum, was preceded by a video conference, debated with the deputies to the National Assembly in their provinces and presented to the Cuban Parliament for discussion, with the presence of specialists in the issues in question and representatives of various organizations.

The purpose of this bill is to unify in a single legal body the regulations in relation to the use of patriotic symbols and its objective is to make their use more flexible so that they have a greater presence in Cuban society. This Act will stipulate that symbols may be used in clothing, objects, works of art and writings, always with the utmost respect and decorum. The previous Act was much more restrictive and limited in its use.

It is necessary to promote the political, ideological and legal culture of the people, to encourage a necessary reflection and become aware that the patriotic symbols represent a nation that was formed and achieved its freedom and independence with the sacrifice of a heroic and brave people, which symbolize Martí's greatness, Maceo's bravery, Céspedes's nobility, the virtuous blood that was shed in the Moncada Barracks, in Bay of Pigs and in each of the battles of the people, and deserve all respect.

The legal regulations, which are currently being studied and discussed, will encourage a more flexible use of symbols, in order to achieve their greater presence in society, without disrupting order and respect for them, establishing mechanisms that facilitate due knowledge and conscious compliance with those regulated in this sense. This process of discussion will continue and be enriched by the opinion of the people in different ways.

There is an urgent need to broaden the dissemination of the National Symbols Act and to develop sustained work from the institutions and training bodies through the curricula in order to increase knowledge about symbols, with a view to everyone, especially children and young people, assuming their respect as an essential duty.

The historian and pedagogue Eduardo Torres Cuevas defined in one sentence its transcendence: "Our first concern is to have an act according to these times, but the second and most important thing is the awareness that beyond the law, people know what their symbols are, the value they have, what they mean, and can use them, in the way it is established, but with the heart.''

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