Why is Cuba a socialist country
reform: Cuba removes "communism" from the constitution
Cuba's constitution is about to undergo major reform. After parliament approved a new draft on Sunday, the population is asked: From August 13th - the birthday of the deceased revolutionary leader Fidel Castro - citizens should "actively and consciously" participate in the drafting of the constitution, said the head of state Miguel Díaz-Canel. These deliberations are to take place in public forums by November 15, after which a referendum is to be held on the first new constitution since 1976.
In the adopted draft, the term communism disappears from the constitution for the first time. The Communist Party of Cuba remains the only legal party of the socialist Caribbean state. In the future, power is to be divided between the president and the head of government. To this end, the office of prime minister was reintroduced for the first time since 1976. The "President of the Republic" should in future be an office of its own and not, as before, the chairman of the State Council. Instead, the State Council - the highest executive body - is to be headed by the Speaker of Parliament in future. The draft also specifies age and term limits for presidents: they must be under 60 when they take office for the first time. In addition, the term of office of future presidents is limited to a maximum of ten years.
For the first time, the constitution recognizes private property
Not only the political system should be reformed. The constitution provides for further changes that could further change the everyday life of the citizens: In the new paragraphs the concept of private property is mentioned for the first time, and foreign investments are recognized as important factors for economic growth. In addition, the principle of the presumption of innocence should be anchored in the judiciary and discrimination based on gender identity should be outlawed.
Marriage is defined as the "voluntary union between two people," which paves the way for marriage between same-sex partners. Mariela Castro, the daughter of former President Raúl Castro, was the main driver of the marriage for everyone.
State Secretary Homero Acosta, close confidante of Raúl Castro and architect of the reform, said the new text should adapt to the economic, social and political realities in Cuba and the international community. Cuba should be "socialist, sovereign, independent, prosperous and sustainable," said Parliament President Esteban Lazo.
No turning away from socialism
The changes come at a time when hundreds of thousands of Cubans are self-employed, many of them in the tourism sector. The country's economy is kept going through remittances from abroad, among other things. The Cuban leadership therefore recently admitted that the 1976 constitution did not reflect the changes of recent years.
However, the new constitution does not mean turning away from socialism: Head of State Díaz-Canel said there would be no capitalism in Cuba. The goal of Cuba's leadership is to build socialism instead of a "communist society".
The constitutional reform comes almost two years after the death of Fidel Castro. The former leader of the revolution had ruled the country for almost 50 years and rebuilt it according to his ideas: Housing, education and free health care were available for the entire population, dissidents were driven out of the country or imprisoned.
With land reform and the nationalization of companies, Castro made the USA an enemy, which was placing a trade embargo on the island. As a result, Cuba became more and more dependent on the support of the former Soviet Union. Their collapse plunged Cuba into a severe economic crisis at the beginning of the 1990s, in which a large part of the population went hungry. Ultimately, Fidel and his brother Raúl Castro managed to implement limited market economy reforms.
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