Cuban lawmakers on Sunday approved a draft Constitution that aims to modernize the island by stepping back from Communist society and recognizing private property. If approved, the new constitution would replace the one that has been in effect since 1976.
“This does not mean we are renouncing our ideas,” said Esteban Lazo, who leads the Cuban National Assembly. “We believe in a socialist, sovereign, independent, prosperous, and sustainable country.”
While the document continues to recognize Communism as a guiding force, it also calls to change the government by establishing governorships and a prime minister, who would share power with the president.
The draft also sets term and age restrictions for future presidents and defines “marriage” as the union between two individuals.
But perhaps the most important element if the draft’s recognition of private property. This idea, once criticized as an element of Capitalism, will enhance private enterprise and attract foreign investment.
In terms of citizens’ rights, the new Constitution also includes guarantees of due process, Habeas Corpus, the presumption of innocence, and the social reintegrate of prisoners into society.
From here, the draft will be discussed at length in public meetings and then put to a national vote.
“This exercise of direct participation of the people acquires political relevance and will be a further reflection that the revolution is based on the most genuine democracy,” said Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez.