Cuba's New Rules

Cuba, not a democracy by any definition, is now reworking its constitution for the post-Castro era. It’s an update on a National Charter in place since 1976. A draft approved last month offers some interesting insights into the ruling party’s plans.


  • There is no change for “the directing role of the Communist Party of Cuba," which will remain “Fidelist” and Marxist-Leninist.
  • But the plan “to advance towards communist society" has been removed from the current draft.
  • There are still references to socialism and a centrally planned economy, but there is also official recognition of "the role of the market" and of "private property."

The bottom line: Cuba has tinkered with market reforms before. This is not Chinese-style state capitalism, but it appears to be a recognition that another round of economic experimentation is inevitable, and that President Miguel Díaz-Canel will need extra authority to give it a try.

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