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National Assembly approves four new laws

asamblea nacFour bills were analyzed by National Assembly of People’s Power deputies and approved during the Fifth Ordinary Period of Sessions – which took place on October 28th – after a discussion in which a variety of questions were addressed and modifications proposed regarding the legal issues in these documents.

The session was held in an atypical fashion given the current epidemiological circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 epidemic, with only deputies from Havana and those representing other territories who reside in the capital physically present at the Convention Center; while, those in the rest of the country’s provinces participated online, via videoconference.


Proposed regulations were presented by deputy and Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, also a member of the Party Political Bureau, which outline the foreign service’s principal objectives in a single body of law – with that status – the functioning of the state as regards the service and the foreign section, consistent with the principles of foreign policy and revolutionary diplomacy established in the Constitution and on the legal order.

The bill also establishes the functions of diplomatic and consular missions, as well as the common powers and duties of members of the foreign service, and requirements for entry and permanence in the corps.

The central concerns expressed during discussion of the bill focused on the relevance or not of using the term blockade textually in the legislation, as one of the common challenges of those participating in the state and the government’s international efforts.

On this matter, Deputy Rolando González Patricio noted that the fight against the blockade, given what it represents for the island, should be cited in the legal text, although he recognized that it would be appropriate to broaden the concept and include the need to confront all types of interference, including any future attempt, which like this cruel policy, seeks to undermine the sovereignty of our country.

Other participants commented that the regulations are focused on the foreign service of the Cuban state, with no specific guidelines proposed for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In this regard, Rodríguez Parrilla noted that the legal document refers to “organizations” as a broad category, which would include NGOs.

In the case of self-employed workers, non-agricultural cooperatives and other forms of non-state management, he said, these figures are recognized in references to natural and legal persons, according to their respective legal authority, and no formulations are specified, since the objective of the law does not address economic, commercial or tourism roles.


This document, submitted for the consideration of deputies, establishes the functions of the Council of Ministers and its Executive Committee, as well as those of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers, the Secretary and other members of the Council of Ministers; these functions are governed by the provisions of the Constitution and other approved legal statutes.

In this regard, Elba Martínez Amador, head of the Council of Ministers’ Legal Advisory Group, stated that the regulation includes Decree Law 272, “On the Organization and Functioning of the Council of Ministers,” dated October 16, 2010, as well as the constitutional changes introduced in the structure of the state.

In accordance with these provisions, the Council of Ministers assumes, among other functions, preparation of the draft State Budget and, once this is approved by the National Assembly of People’s Power, its execution, Martinez Amador stated.

Regarding this function, Félix Martínez Suárez, deputy for the province of Guantánamo, offered the opinion that reporting liquidation and evaluation of the budget to the Assembly should be included as another responsibility.

Also addressed in this bill are the Prime Minister’s authorities, as well as the processes of appointment, replacement, revocation and resignation of this individual. According to the document, the Prime Minister is nominated by the President of the Republic and appointed by the National Assembly for a period of five years, on the basis of a favorable vote of the absolute majority of deputies.

The regulations establish that, in the event of temporary inability to perform the duties of the office, the Prime Minister’s responsibilities are assumed by a Deputy Prime Minister determined by the President of the Republic.


This is a document that has no legal precedent, which outlines the obligations, requisites and procedures for the election of both the President and the Vice President of the Republic of Cuba, as well as provisions for any temporary inability to fulfill their duties for certain reasons, summarized the head of the Council of Ministers’ Legal Advisory Group.

Likewise defined are the President’s relations with the National Assembly, as well as other bodies, agencies and entities of the state, and especially, with citizens and mass social organizations, as established in the Constitution as a guarantee of the full dignity of the people and their integral development.

One of the main issues raised by legislators was related the regularization of the President’s accountability report to the National Assembly, which is to be presented orally once a year, during one of the sessions, to summarize relevant aspects of the national government’s policies.

Deputies additionally emphasized the need to establish mechanisms for feedback, beyond the report presented by the President, to ensure that the essence of the accountability process is preserved.

Among the proposals made by legislators was the specific inclusion of illness as a reason for the temporary inability to perform the duties of the presidency or vice-presidency, and to establish the competent body that would determine such inability.

Also suggested to the drafting commission was the specification that no proposal could be made on the President’s initiative to reform requirements or conditions for the election of the President and Vice President of the Republic.

For her part, Gladys Bejerano Portela, deputy for Guantánamo and Comptroller General of the Republic of Cuba, pointed out that it would be more feasible to establish that the head of state should assume among his functions the evaluation and approval of annual directives establishing national auditing priorities for both the Comptroller’s Office and of the national audit system.


The revocation of a mandate is a legal-political instrument for voters and their representatives to exercise the right to participate in the control of state power, stated José Luis Toledo Santander, president of the National Assembly’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Commission.

The proposed regulations cite as acceptable causes for a recall process repeated failure to comply with obligations; behavior unbecoming of a public figure; and conduct incompatible with the honor of representing the people in a People’s Power body.

Toledo Santander noted that the document establishes procedures for the recall of delegates to municipal assemblies, their presidents and vice presidents; provincial governors and lieutenant governors; the National Assembly’s deputies, President, Vice Presidents and Secretary; members of the Council of State; as well as the President and Vice President of the Republic.

In relation to this bill, legislators focused their comments mainly on the appropriateness and necessity of including the meaning of the term “revocation,” to ensure better understanding by the population, in addition to other specificities that govern this process.

The approval of the four draft laws, an unprecedented number in National Assembly sessions, was carried out online, given the country’s epidemiological situation and in line with measures adopted to address COVID-19.

The battle against the pandemic and the country’s new normal; information on the monetary re-ordering process; discussion of the national economic plan; closing of the annual state budget; and the swearing-in of new deputies assuming vacant seats were also included on the agenda of the National Assembly’s Fifth Period of Ordinary Sessions.

(Taken from Granma)

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