The Cuban assembly on Saturday approved a revised draft of a new constitution that retains Cuba’s one-party socialist system but reflects its socio-economic opening since the fall of the former Soviet Union.

Iran Press/ America: The Cuban assembly approved the draft of a new constitution, and it will be submitted to a popular referendum on 24 February 2019.

Cuba's government said Tuesday that language promoting the legalization of gay marriage will be removed from the draft, after widespread popular rejection of the idea.

Cuba's National Assembly on Saturday approved an update of the country's constitution, the final step before a national referendum expected to approve the new charter in February.

The new constitution contains more continuity than change, although it recognizes the de-facto modernization of Cuban society over the last decade. The constitution maintains Cuba as a centrally planned economy ruled by a single Communist Party.

Legalizing private property is a formal recognition of significant change in Cuban society since former President Raul Castro permitted home and auto sales, creating a booming real-estate market, and allowed more than half a million Cubans to have permits to work as entrepreneurs. Hundreds of thousands more work full or part-time in the private sector without licenses.

The new constitution also recognizes worker-owned cooperatives for the first time as a legal form of production in every sector of the economy, while maintaining Cuba's largely inefficient and stagnant state-run industries as the central means of production.

Closing the National Assembly, President Miguel Diaz-Canel said the island's economic challenges — including a weak 1.2 percent economic growth rate in 2018, and similar growth expected next year — required the acceptance of private business, joint public-private ventures and cooperatives working together.

He promised to fight widespread public-sector embezzlement and corruption that makes it virtually impossible to get anything done in Cuba without a series of small bribes.  208/ 211 /103

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