Something you might want to know about the 1940 Cuban Costitution  
President's Palace, Havana, Cuba
The 1940 Constitution of Cuba, was implemented in 1940, during the presidency of Federico Laredo Brú. It was primarily influenced by the collectivist ideas that inspired the Cuban Revolution of 1933. Widely considered one of the most "progressive" constitutions in existence at the time, it provided for land reform, public education, minimum wage and other leftist ideas. It consisted of 286 articles in 19 sections and took six months to write.
President Palace hallway, Havana, Cuba
The Constitution of 1940, (a) substantiated voting as a right, obligation and function of the people; (b) endorsed the previously established form of government, specifically republican, democratic and representative; (c) confirmed individual rights and privileges including private property rights; and (d) introduced the notion of collective rights.
Presidential Palace, Havana Cuba
Under the Constitution of 1940, the separation between the three branches of government remained, but with obvious distinctions. Specifically,(a) the role of the prime minister was introduced; (b) the executive branch converted to semi-parliamentary form, where half of its ministers could also be congressmen; and (c) Congress’ form was changed to one representative in the house to every 35,000 citizens or greater fraction of 17,500, and nine senators per province.
Presidential Palace, Havana Cuba
The Constitution of 1940 ratified the power and separation of the judiciary. Specifically, the judicial branch remained autonomous and empowered to nominate judges and magistrates. Like the Constitution of 1901, and the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court justices were appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. In addition, the Constitution of 1940 instituted a Court of Constitutional and Social Guarantees (the “Constitutional Court”) under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. The Constitutional Court was empowered to hear labor and constitutional law matters, and determine remedies for violations thereof.
Presidential Palace Dining room, Havana Cuba
Under the Constitution of 1940, (a) provincial government was terminated; the provincial counsels, however, endured, but were now comprised of the mayors of various municipalities incorporated into each province; (b) the governor’s power to suspend mayors ceased, while the municipalities gained the right to tax locally; (c) public expenses and budgeting at all levels became subject to a ministerial officer under the auspices of a newly created Court of Public Administration; and (d) a Court of Public Works was instituted.
Presidential Palace Tower, Havana Cuba
The constitutional amendment clause was very strictly enforced in the Constitution of 1940. Title XIX, article 285 (a)-(b) of the Constitution of 1940, required a constitutional convention to modify the language of the Constitution. Congress, however, was authorized to make minor reforms to the document; provided, however, that the following requirements were adhered to: (a) quorum (joint session); (b) two thirds vote of the total number of legislators; and (c)“doble consideración” or consideration of the proposed amendments at two consecutive legislative sessions.
Presidential Palace, Havana, Cuba
Additionally, the Constitution of 1940 could also be reformed via a referendum clause. The most notable difference between the Constitution of 1901 and the Constitution of 1940 was the addition of constitutional protection for issues relating to family, culture, property and labor. Without constitutional antecedents and expertise in the area of protection of social rights, the drafters of the Constitution of 1940 sought guidance from Spain’s “Constitución de la Segunda República Española” and Germany’s “Weimar Constitution.” The Constitution of 1940 was only in effect for 12 years.
Presidential Palace, Havana, Cuba
Following a coup d'etat by Fulgencio Batista in 1952, parts of this constitution were suspended. Prior to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and the other revolutionaries, through the Manifiesto of the Sierra [1], claimed that their chief goal was to reinstate the Constitution of 1940. However, the revolutionaries reneged on their promise and abrogated the Constitution of 1940 once in power.
Presidential Palace stairway, Havana, Cuba
  The signers of this Constitution were:   
  Carlos Márquez Sterling y Guiral, President of the Constitutional Convention  
  Alberto Boada Miquel, Secretary the Constitutional Convention  
  Emilio Núñez Portuondo, Secretary the Constitutional Convention  
  Salvador Acosta Casares  
  Francisco Alomí y Álvarez de la Campa  
  Rafael Álvarez González  
  José R. Andréu Martínez  
  Manuel Benítez González  
  Antonio Bravo Acosta  
  Antonio Bravo Correoso  
  Fernando del Busto Martínez  
  Juan Cabrera Hernández  
  Miguel Calvo Tarafa  
  Ramiro Capablanca Graupera  
  José Manuel Casanova Diviño  
  César Casas Rodríguez  
  Romárico Cordero Garcés  
  Ramón Corona García  
  Felipe Correoso y del Risco  
  José Manuel Cortina García  
  Miguel Covula Llaguno  
  Pelayo Cuervo Navarro  
  Eduardo Rene Chibás Rivas  
  Francisco Dellundé Mustelier  
  Mario E. Díhigo  
  Arturo Don Rodríguez  
  Manuel Dorta Duque  
  Nicolás Duarte Cajides  
  Mariano Esteva Lora  
  José A. Fernández de Castro  
  Orestes Ferrara Marino (Orestes Matacena's Granduncle)  
  Simeón Ferro Martínez  
  Manuel Fuego Suárez  
  Adriano Galano Sánchez  
  Salvador García Agüero  
  Félix García Rodríguez  
  Quintín Jorge Vernot  
  Ramón Granda Fernández  
  Ramón Grau San Martín  
  Rafael Guas Iclán  
  Alieda Hernández de la Barca (a woman)  
  Alfredo Hornedo Suárez  
  Francisco Ichiazo Macias  
  Felipe Jay Raoulx  
  Emilio A. Laurent Dubet  
  Amaranto López Negrón  
  Jorge Mañach Robato (Orestes Matacena's cousin)  
  Juan Marinello Vidaurreta (Communist Party)  
  Antonio Martínez Fraga  
  Joaquín Martínez Sáenz  
  Jorge A. Mendigutía Silveira  
  Manuel Mesa Medina  
  Joaquín Meso Quesada  
  Gustavo Moreno Lastres  
  Eusebio Mujal Barniol  
  Delio Núñez Mesa  
  Emilio Ochoa Ochoa  
  Manuel A. Orizondo Caraballé  
  Manuel Parrado Rodés  
  Juan B. Pons Jané  
  Francisco José Prieto Llera  
  Carlos Prío Socarrás  
  Santiago Rey Perna  
  Mario Robau Cartaya  
  Blas Roca Calderio (Communist Party)  
  Primitivo Rodríguez Rodríguez  
  Esperanza Sánchez Mastrapa (a woman)  
  Alberto Silva Quiñones  
  César Vilar Aguilar  
  Fernando del Villar de los Ríos  
  María Esther Villoch Leyva (a woman)