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  • Cubans attend a public political discussion on new constitution in Havana, Cuba.

    Cubans attend a public political discussion on new constitution in Havana, Cuba. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 December 2018

The new Constitution also enshrines the people’s ownership over the fundamental means of production.

Cuban legislators debated Thursday the draft constitution. They celebrated the inclusion of Communism as “a legitimate aspiration for all” and ratified the island’s commitment to society’s advance towards Communism.

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Legislator Yusuam Palacios argued that the explicit inclusion of the word Communism helps silence the “manipulation” of international public opinion on Cuba abandoning its Communist character.

The draft constitution also enshrines the prominence of “socialist property” and the people’s ownership over the fundamental means of production. This is included in title II, regarding economic principles, which also upholds Cuba’s centrally planned economy.

There were no disagreements on these basic tenets.

As new additions to the Magna Carta “the state recognizes and protects families regardless of their structure” and defines marriage as a “social and juridical institution.” The way it will be constituted will be defined by law, through the Family Code. This decision was made after attempts to redefine marriage as between two adults generated controversies that could have affected people’s vote on the overall text.

Legislator Luis Angel Robles supported the decision but expressed his disagreement with postponing the code two for two years and submitting it to a popular referendum

He stressed the vote the Family Code should take place in the Assembly and warned a referendum could “put the rights of people and groups in a critical position.”

Majela Ferrari, a member of the drafting commission, said: “There is a moral conception that has not evolved and that is something regrettable. It hurts me that my people have been revolutionary in issues such as racism and abortion, and not in this aspect; this must make us think about the strategies to change this because we are talking about social justice, equality, and dignity."

The draft of Cuba’s new constitution was written after holding 133,681 debates, organized between Aug. 13 and Nov. 15, at the local level that resulted in several citizen proposals. Almost 9 million Cubans participated in these preliminary debates.

The final draft will be voted on and ratified through a referendum scheduled for February 2019.

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