Home > Laritza Diversent - Translated from the Spanish > Breaking the Law Doesn’t Matter

Breaking the Law Doesn’t Matter

The Committee for the Defense of the Revolution is an organization that combines most of the social sectors of the country. Article 7 of its by-laws specifies that “becoming a member of this organization is an individual, voluntary act.” One of the requirements for membership is that you must be at least fourteen years old.

Is a 14-year-old teenager legally, clearly conscious and free to complete the requirements of membership for joining the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution? Do 14 year olds have the economic capacity to contribute to the finances of the organization at the quoted price?

The act of agreeing is to show, expressly or tacitly, that we consent to something. That decision legally binds us, because upon doing so, one assumes rights and takes on obligations. Consent turns into a requirement to act.

Under Cuban law, the capacity to consent includes certain implicit restrictions. These restrictions principally involve those who are unemancipated youth, those who are deaf and mute, who are unable to read or write and the mentally ill. In these cases, consent is not recognized as being able to be given freely and consciously.

In Cuba, adulthood is reached when one is 18 years old, at that moment one has the capacity to act. The exceptions are 14 year old females and 16-year-old males who are married — they are considered to be emancipated.

But something else happens to people who are legally declared to lack capacity. I am talking about the deaf and mute or mentally ill members of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution who appear on the membership lists of that organization. Did they give their consent to agree with the revolution and be ready to defend it? Did they accept the by-laws of the organization? Are they capable of maintaining a code of moral conduct and social ethics in accordance with the principles of the revolution?

In these cases, going against the law doesn’t matter because by doing so, determined political interests are satisfied. What’s important is that the social project of the revolution involves the masses. But we don’t touch these topics when we are talking about reinforcing socialist law.

Laritza Diversent

Photo: tgraham, Flickr

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