HAVANA – The government of Cuba published on Saturday the final draft of its new Constitution ahead of a referendum on Feb. 24.
The new Constitution, which seeks to update the current version drafted in 1976, was put to the public for consultation two weeks after it was unanimously approved by the parliament.
The new version is available for download from official websites and will be sold in physical format next week.
On Dec. 22, the Cuban parliament approved the final draft, which does not change the country’s political system but seeks to reflect the controlled economic opening and reforms initiated by former President Raul Castro (2008-2018) in an attempt to bolster the country’s weakened economy.
It includes 760 amendments initially proposed by the Constitutional Commission, led by Castro, which would amount to a 60 percent modification of the first draft.
Also in the final draft is the recognition of private property and the necessity of foreign investment, while providing for the position of the president and prime minister, and the setting of a two-consecutive-term limit for presidents.
It also removes an article opening the door for gay marriage, and regarding freedom of the press, establishes that major means of communication cannot be part of a private enterprise.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution on Jan. 1, Castro expressed confidence that the reform would be endorsed in the February referendum, which will ask the public if they wish to ratify the new Constitution.