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On the 22th July 2018 the Cuban parliament accepted unanimously the proposals on how to reform the Constitution. Now the population has to decide whether the same-sex marriage, the right to own private property and to work in the private sector should be part of its Constitution.

The current situation in Cuba

According to the Constitution adopted in 1976 Cuba is a “socialist state of the workers and peasants” with the aim to establish communism. The state including economy and politics is ruled by the Communist Party of Cuba (originally Partido Comunista de Cuba, shortly PCC), the only legal party in Cuba.

Currently, only a tenth of the working Cuban people are self-employed. As this small private sector mainly consists of taxi drivers, bar and guest house owners the government is dependent on it to stay interesting for tourists.

Since April 2018 there is a new head of state. Raul Castro, the brother of the revolutionary Fidel Castro, assigned after ten years. Now Miguel Díaz-Canel realizes the changes his predecessor initiated in the last years.
Raul Castro stays as head of the PCC.

The constitutional reform is expected to adapt Cuba to the economic, political and social reality of the country and also of the world. The governments hopes for more cooperation with other states and foreign investment, so the state would be able to make up the economic leeway of the last years.

All proposals, which the parliament has discussed before, were unanimously accepted by the representatives.

The planned changes in the Cuban Constitution

The term „Communism“ was removed from the drafts of the new Constitution. In future the aim of the state will be the stabilization of socialism.
The new Constitution will consist the right to own private property which is expected to cause a growth in the private sector.
To work in the private sector is expressly permitted now.

There will be also changes in the political sector: The „President of the Republic“ is reintroduced, i.e. the Chairman of the Council of State is no longer automatically the head of state. Furthermore, he can be re-elected once. Up to now, there was no limitation.
Although they try to dezentralize politics, the PCC stays the only legal party in Cuba.

The proposal for permit same-sex marriage was controversially discussed in parliament. In future an “union between two individuals” is allowed which does not exclude the marriage for couples of the same sex.

Modification, yes – Change, no.

“Cuba will never return to capitalism”, declared Díaz-Canel talking about the planned modifications which are under discussion in the population since August.

Despite the changes no one wants to forget the values of the revolution, said a representative. Other people are not that optimistic and criticize that there is still no competition between the parties and that fundamental rights, e.g. press freedom and freedom of assembly, will not be part of the new Constitution.

Until November the Cuban people can discuss the modifications in about 135000 forums. In February 2019 they will vote in a referendum.

Story by: Katrin Albrecht/