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The degree to which an institutional system diverges from the normative order that creates it is a measure of the legitimacy of the system as a whole, as it defines the coherence between the system’s means and its ends. Like the constitutionalism of other countries, that of Cuba tells the story of its particular divergence, the centuries-old tradition summarized by the phrase: “The law is respected, but not followed.”[1]

[1] Transl. note: The original expression, widely used in the Spanish-speaking world to convey the idea of paying lip service to the law, is “La ley se acata, pero no se cumple.”