Cuba's one-party legislature Sunday passed a new Penal Code, which was considered to be modern and adjusted to the country's socialist reality, it was announced in Havana.
Although the new legal instrument was designed in tune with international criteria on human rights according to local authorities, the death penalty was not entirely removed and may still be applied.
The norm is of extraordinary relevance in the robustness of Cuba as a socialist state of law, a modern criminal law, adjusted to the socioeconomic realities and updated with the Constitution and other legal provisions, Ruben Remigio Ferro, president of the People's Supreme Court, told the National Assembly of People's Power, the national parliamentary body.
The new code provides for penalties that range from life imprisonment to 30-year prison sentences for the most serious crimes. It also maintains the death penalty for 23 extremely serious offenses, it was reported.
Offenders are accountable since the age of 16. In studies carried out in the country, minors between 16 and 18 years of age have been found to have participated in murders, and they require an immediate response, Remigio Ferro explained.
The new legislation will become effective 90 days after its publication in the Official Gazette, it was reported.
Among the crimes listed in the new code are infractions and illicit acts that affect the radio-electric spectrum, the environment, and the natural patrimony. According to media reports, the illegal broadcasting of satellite, television and radio signals, telecommunication services or other similar ones have been typified as criminal offenses, with a focus on officials or workers who, within their position, have the possibility of administering networks and who violate their functions in that sense.
Gender and family violence, as well as acts against minors or in situations of disability have also been included in the new text, including femicide, although it is not mentioned explicitly, but there is awareness of the importance of punishing the intentional murder of a woman for the fact of being a woman, Remigio Ferro noted.
Although it does not reflect the definition of femicide or feminicide, it does make clear the penalties that apply to those who incur in crimes associated with gender violence and violence against women, he added. For this crime, prison sentences range from 20 to 30 years and even death may be imposed under certain circumstances.
The new penal code also provides for the defense of the 2019 Constitution and the socialist regime established thereby. Treason to the homeland is the gravest of crimes, whoever commits it is subject to the most severe sanctions.
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