HAVANA – Cuba’s National Assembly concluded on Sunday the second and last day of discussions regarding a proposal to modify the country’s Constitution, a proposal that will be subject to popular consultations from Aug. 13-Nov. 15.
Some of the most important constitutional changes that were proposed by the assembly include eliminating references to communism in the Constitution, recognizing private property, establishing the figure of prime minister, and changing the definition of marriage, which could open to door to same-sex marriage.
The proposed changes to the 1976 Constitution could still be modified after the popular consultations and must be approved in a referendum.
The parliamentary debate was expected to end Monday morning, yet deliberations concluded Sunday.
During the three-month long popular consultations, Cuban citizens will be able to express their opinions on the constitutional changes and even propose adjustments.
According to a statement by Cuba’s National Assembly, after these consultations are carried out, “each opinion and proposal will be considered and assessed by the Commission for Constitutional Reform.”
After the proposal to reform the constitution is amended, it will return to the Assembly where it will be debated once again and put to a vote.
Finally, the Council of State will set a date for the referendum, through which citizens will approve or reject the reforms.
The assembly proposed eliminating 11 articles of the Constitution, amending 113, and adding 87, which would give constitutional status to the reforms implemented by Raul Castro to open up the Cuban economy, attract foreign investment, and allow a limited development of the private sector.
Minor reforms to the Cuban Constitution were enacted in 1978, 1992, and 2002, when the country’s “irrevocable” socialist nature was approved in a referendum.