Cuban Parliament Continues Debates on New Constitution

Havana, Jul 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban lawmakers continue on Sunday in this capital to debate the Draft Constitution, before the text is voted at a session of the People’s Power National Assembly.

The document contains a preamble and 224 articles, whose review began at Havana’s Conference Center on Saturday, when the first ordinary session of the 9th Legislature opened.

According to secretary of the Council of State, Homero Acosta, who chairs the debates on the Draft Constitution that would replace the one in force since 1976, about 150 lawmakers asked to speak criteria about the text, and only a small part of them did it yesterday.

Lawmakers expressed their opinion yesterday about the preamble and the first articles of the initiative drawn up by a National Assembly commission, led by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC), Raul Castro.

Many of yesterday’s speeches supported the Draft Constitution and proposed changes related to the patriotic nature of the Magna Carta.

If approved today or tomorrow, depending on the debates, the document would be submitted to a popular consultation, before being voted on a referendum for its approval or not by the people.

The text ratifies the socialist nature of Cuba and contains changes in the structure of the State, including the creation of the posts of President and Vice President of the Republic, and Prime Minister, to replace the current President of the Councils of State and Ministers.

It also extends the rights of individuals, with issues such as guarantees of due process, Habeas Corpus, the presumption of innocence and the social reintegration of prisoners into society.

The Draft Constitution also includes several forms of property, among them the people’s socialist property, mixed and private property; and changes in the institution of marriage, since it defines it as the union between two people, while the current Constitution reflects it as the union voluntarily agreed between a man and a woman.

On Saturday, the National Assembly approved the new Council of Ministers, which is made up of 34 people, with an average age of 60, and eight women (23 percent).

Led by President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Salvador Valdes as the First Vice-President, the Council of Ministers also includes Ramiro Valdes, Ricardo Cabrisas and Ulises Rosales as vice presidents -the three were ratified- and recently included Roberto Morales and Ines Maria Chapman.

Around 17 ministers were also ratified, including Bruno Rodriguez (Foreign Affairs), Leopoldo Cintra (Armed Forces), Julio Cesar Gandarilla (Interior), Ena Elsa Velazquez (Education), Lina Pedraza (Finance and Prices) and Rodrigo Malmierca (Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment).

Jose Amado Ricardo also remained as Secretary of the Council.

The Parliament also supported the proposal to promote nine people to the position of minister, a relation that includes Alejandro Gil (Economy and Planning), Betsy Diaz (Domestic Trade), Jose Angel Portal (Public Health) and Oscar Manuel Silveira (Justice).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.