According to a new report, Cuba is going slightly away from its communist roots and embracing Socialism in its new constitution.
A draft of Cuba’s new constitution keeps the Communist Party as its leading political force but states as its aim the construction of socialism rather than communism, reflecting changing times, top officials told lawmakers this weekend.
Cuba is replacing its Soviet-era constitution with a new constitution to reflect and implement political and economic changes designed to make its one-party socialist system – one of the last in the world – sustainable.
The constitution will for example recognize private property, something long stigmatized by the Communist Party as a vestige of capitalism, the secretary of the council of state, Homero Acosta, told lawmakers on Saturday.
This should give greater legal recognition to the micro businesses that have flourished in the wake of market reforms. Cuba’s current 1976 constitution only recognizes state, cooperative, farmer, personal and joint venture property.
It also restructures the government.
Under the new constitution, the president will no longer be the head of the council of state and council of ministers, according to Acosta. Instead it creates the position of prime minister and designates the president of the assembly also as head of the council of state, Cuba’s highest executive body.
The draft also sets an age and term limits for presidents, stating they must be under 60 when they first take office and can carry out no more than two consecutive five-year terms.
The new constitution could move the bar in Cuba on social issues, too. In a country that once persecuted gay people, a new antidiscrimination clause would ban bias based on gender identity. On Saturday, Cuba’s secretary of the council of state, Homero Acosta, also said the language governing marriage would be changed to a union between two people rather than between a man and woman, potentially opening the door to same-sex marriage, according to Reuters.
It is unclear at this point what is actually going on in Cuba. It is never a bad thing to go further away from Communism but Socialism is by no means a great alternative. Reports are also indicating that the government is gradually implementing changes and is maintaining control of the whole process.