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In a country with no opinion polls, campaigns or independent mass media, a series of meetings on reforming Cuba's constitution has spawned a highly unusual debate on the island's political system and values.Many objected to a constitutional amendment that would allow gays and lesbians to marry, a project promoted by the highly influential daughter of Communist Party head Raul Castro.The government convened thousands of block-level meetings over a nearly two-month period of "popular consultation" on a draft of the new constitution already approved by the Communist Party and National Assembly. The president of Cuba is now selected by the National Assembly, whose members are themselves chosen by government-controlled commissions.The nation's top post was held for nearly 50 years by Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba's 1959 socialist revolution. However, many Cubans remain deeply wary of increased rights for gays and lesbians.The meetings on the constitution take place in government meeting rooms and parks across Cuba.
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