Cuba’s parliament passed a new Magna Carta on Wednesday which says keeping socialism is irrevocable.
The new constitution, passed by 589 MPs attending the Second Extraordinary Session of the parliament, also recognizes property rights and free enterprise, including those of foreign investors. The session was chaired by Secretary General of the Cuban Communist Party Raul Castro and attended by President Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Half a million entrepreneurs and their employees in Cuba’s growing private sector have been calling for such a law since 2010. The new 229-article text was ratified by over 6 million voters in a referendum on Feb. 24, and maintains the Communist Party is the leading political force.
It keeps the achievements of the Revolution such as the right to free and universal health and education. As a novelty, it introduces other constitutional concepts for the local criminal code such as the presumption of innocence in criminal cases and habeas corpus.
The constitution introduces changes in the governing structure regarding the appointment of the prime minister and provincial governors, and stipulates that the national assembly must approve a new electoral law within half a year. President Diaz-Canel said that “the new constitution guarantees the rights of every citizen in the country and raises human dignity.” He said the document ratifies the socialist route of the Cuban Revolution and allows moving ahead the work of the state, government, organizations and the entire people to continue improving the island’s society.
Cuba’s previous national charter was established in 1976, when the country faced different social end economic conditions amid the Cold War. The new charter has been long awaited since there have been many changes in the Caribbean nation in the last three decades.