HAVANA – Former Cuban president and leader of the ruling Communist Party (PCC), Raul Castro, will head the commission created on Saturday to reform the country’s Constitution in order to adapt it to the recent economic and social changes, but will make no changes to the political system.
Cuba’s current President Miguel Diaz-Canel made the announcement during the extraordinary session of the Cuban National Assembly, in which he named the commission members charged with modifying the Magna Carta enacted in 1976.
The commission will be made up of people from different social sectors of the country, Diaz-Canel said, while Castro, 86, called the first meeting of commission members for this afternoon.
When he replaced Gen. Castro in the presidency last April 19, Diaz-Canel announced that his predecessor and younger brother of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, would still be in charge of taking the “decisions of the greatest importance for the present and future of the nation.”
This Saturday the president confirmed that the constitutional reform will not include changes to the island’s political model, but said the new text “will consider as immovable pillars the irrevocability of the socialist system, national unity and the role of the Communist Party as the vanguard and leadership force of the state and society.
The premise of “nonrevocable socialism” and the definition of the PCC are already contained in the 3rd and 5th Articles of the current Constitution.
“The new articles will take into account the humanistic principles and social justice that make up our political system,” Diaz-Canel said, and expressed certainty that the new text will strengthen “the revolutionary state as an institution.”
He also spoke of the “special importance for the country” of this process and recalled that the reform will be submitted “the largest popular consultation” after it passes through the legislature for its approval, and finally, it must be subjected to a referendum.
The constitutional reform commission will be led by Raul Castro and will have 33 members. Diaz-Canel will be its vice president and it will include “a representation of the most diverse sectors of society,” the president said.
The formation of this commission opens a long-awaited process of modernizing the 1976 Magna Carta to fully establish the economic and social reforms introduced in the last decade during the two terms in office of Raul Castro, changes that aim to make perfectly sustainable the economy and the socialist model of the island.