Published: Tue, July 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

CUBA: Draft Constitution Opens Path To Marriage

CUBA: Draft Constitution Opens Path To Marriage

Cuba's National Assembly on Sunday adopted a new constitution that keeps the Communist Party as its leading political force but states as its aim the construction of socialism rather than communism.

Cuba's national assembly is this weekend debating a draft of the document to replace its Soviet-era constitution, reflecting political, social and economic changes created to make its brand of socialism sustainable and implementing new ones too.

"We are not the first, nor would we be the vanguard in this matter. there are around 24 countries that have this concept incorporated, we could not turn our back on this issue when preparing a new constitutional project", said Homero Acosta, the secretary of the council of state.

The National Assembly is expected to pass the new constitution in the coming days.

The economic reforms envisioned in the charter would provide a degree of constitutional recognition for market changes that have already been underway, including the private enterprise that has sprung up. Cuba's 1976 constitution only recognises state, co-operative, farmer, personal and joint venture property. It calls for creating the position of a prime minister, who would share power with the president, and governorships for the nation's provinces.

Miguel Diaz-Canel, who replaced former President Raul Castro in April, said that the economy grew 1.1 percent during the first half, compared with the 2 percent forecast by the government for 2018 and 1.6 percent growth past year.

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Following on the heels of other Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina, the new constitution also contains language that recognizes marriage as between two individuals rather than between only a man and a woman.

It would also alter text in article 68 of the constitution to identify marriage as "the consensual voluntary union between two people" without specifying gender.

The new constitution proposed by a commission led by Raul Castro will also set an age limit of 60 for when a new president takes office.

The most striking omission from the new government was Marino Murillo, one of the vice presidents in Castro's council of ministers.

The president of Cuba's National Assembly, Esteban Lazo Hernández, said the deletion of the reference to communism did not suggest that the nation's political leadership was "renouncing our ideas".

Under Castro, Murillo spearheaded reforms to the state-run economy to give a greater role to foreign investment and the private sector. He remains head of the Party's reform commission and a member of the political bureau.

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