Politica

Cuba restores reference to communism in new constitution

Havana, Dec 21 (epa-efe).- The reference to communism that had been left out of the first draft of a new Cuban constitution has been made a part of the document in response to a request from more than 1,800 citizens, Communist Party daily Granma said Friday.

Yusuam Palacios, a lawmaker representing Holguin, said ahead of parliament's vote on the draft that the preamble of the new charter includes this phrase: "the human being reaches his full dignity only in socialism and communism," Granma reported.

Cuba's current constitution, adopted in 1976, proclaims the Communist Party to be "the superior leading force of the society and the State, organizing and guiding the common efforts aimed at the highest goals of the construction of socialism and advancement toward the communist society."

Re-inserting the mention of communism "presents a reading that is revolutionary and coherent with what we have defended and must continue defending," Palacios said.

A constitutional commission led by former President Raul Castro - who remains Communist Party chief - put forward 760 proposed amendments after a consultative process that involved nearly 9 million Cubans.

While the draft does not envision political changes such as ending the monopoly of the Communist Party, it recognizes private property and the importance of foreign investment and establishes a new post of prime minister.

The National Assembly is expected to approve the new charter later Friday and a referendum is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24.

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