Cuba Overhauls Constitution For First Time Since Cold War

Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel votes during a referendum to approve or reject the new constitution in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. The constitutional reforms maintain Cuba's single-party political system and centrally planned economy while recognizing private property and small businesses, which have been part of the island's economy without formal legal status for more than a decade.
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel votes during a referendum to approve or reject the new constitution in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. The constitutional reforms maintain Cuba's single-party political system and centrally planned economy while recognizing private property and small businesses, which have been part of the island's economy without formal legal status for more than a decade. Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel votes during a referendum to approve or reject the new constitution in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. The constitutional reforms maintain Cuba's single-party political system and centrally planned economy while recognizing private property and small businesses, which have been part of the island's economy without formal legal status for more than a decade.
Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel votes during a referendum to approve or reject the new constitution in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019. The constitutional reforms maintain Cuba's single-party political system and centrally planned economy while recognizing private property and small businesses, which have been part of the island's economy without formal legal status for more than a decade. Ramon Espinosa / AP Photo

Cuba Overhauls Constitution For First Time Since Cold War

The Cuban government is expected to release the results of a referendum on a new constitution for the country on Monday. The new constitution, previously passed by the country’s National Assembly, would replace a constitution from the Cold War era. Among its highlights, the new document would recognize private property, foreign investment and the Internet, as well as establish a presumption of innocence in the justice system. The new constitution also remains silent on the issue of same-sex marriage, eliminating language from the old constitution that defined the union as between a man and a woman. While some Cubans and foreign analysts celebrate the proposed new constitution as a sign of progress, others insist the changes are merely superficial. With us to discuss is María de los Ángeles Torres, a professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She, like most experts, expects the referendum to pass by a wide margin.