Draft of new Cuban constitution omits goal of building communism, opens door to same-sex marriage: report

Draft of new Cuban constitution omits goal of building communism, opens door to same-sex marriage: report
© Max Greenwood/The Hill

A draft of Cuba's new constitution backs away from a stated goal of furthering communism and opens the door for legal recognition of private businesses and same-sex marriage, according to a new report.

Cuba's current constitution was drafted in 1976 and outlines a goal of building a communist society. Cuba's national assembly is reportedly debating a draft of an updated constitution that seeks to redefine the role of communism in the country. 

Among the changes is a recognition of private property, Homero Acosta, the secretary of the council of state, said, according to a Reuters report

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The addition marks a significant recognition of private businesses, which have taken off in recent years as the Cuban government sought to pull itself from the economic crisis prompted by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The new draft constitution also defines marriage as a marriage between two people, according to Reuters — a marked change from the 1976 document, which discusses marriage as being between one man and one woman.

The change could pave the way for same-sex marriage in Cuba. 

Despite the changes, the draft of the new constitution still places an emphasis on the role of the Communist Party of Cuba and the "socialist character" of the country, according to Granma, the party-controlled newspaper.

"This does not mean we are renouncing our ideas," National Assembly President Esteban Lazo said. "We believe in a socialist, sovereign, independent, prosperous and sustainable country."

The draft constitution also calls for term limits on the president — an office that was held for decades by Fidel Castro and, later, his brother Raul Castro. Raul Castro handed power to his protege, Miguel Díaz-Canel, in April.