Raul Castro and Diaz-Canel Attend National Assembly Session

Prensa Latina News Agency

Cuba parliamentarians meet today in the second ordinary period of the 9th Legislature. (Photo: ACN).

The plenary session will address the final draft of the  new Constitution and the results of the economy and projections for next year in terms of budget and economic plan

The Second Ordinary Session of the National Assembly of People’s Power’s Ninth Legislature began this Friday, December 21, in the presence of Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz, and President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz Canel-Bermúdez, and José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee.

Upon entering the plenary hall of Havana’s International Conference Center, where the National Assembly is gathering, deputies and guests welcomed the leaders with prolonged applause.

Today there will be debates on the draft 2019 Budget Law to be approved by legislators, who, gathered yesterday in three sub-working groups, thoroughly analyzed the Draft Constitution of the Republic, which will also be approved today.

Previously, the ten standing committees of the National Assembly of People’s Power met on December 16 and 17, while the following day deputies learned details about policy on the computerization of Cuban society and housing.

On opening the Session, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernández, also a member of the Party Political Bureau, reported that on December 19, several deputies that head various Central State Administration agencies took office.

He highlighted the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution and the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Cuba’s independence struggles, summarized in the figures of Céspedes, Martí and Fidel.

Lazo also drew attention to the recent words of the Army General on the people’s participation in the popular consultation process on the country’s draft Constitution, which he described as “magnificent,” allowing for an enriched text.

He noted that the process of holding assemblies in which delegates must render accounts to their electorate is currently underway. Of the 67,544 meetings planned, 65,695 meetings have been held, with the participation of more than six million voters.

Meanwhile, Homero Acosta Álvarez, secretary of the Council of State, announced the 253 agreements adopted in the period from April to December of this year. Of these, 83 related to awards, and 168 to other issues.

He informed that seven Decree Laws were approved during this period, numbered from 359 to 366, related to short courses in the Education sphere, the functioning of the casa de las Américas, the improvement of Central Bank of Cuba faculties, Banking and Finance System institutions, and violations in currency exchange and financial matters.

In addition, regulations related to the functions of the National Institute of Hydraulic Resources were approved, as well as agricultural and non-agricultural cooperatives, in order to improve their management and establish provisions that allow for better performance, advice and control of these structures.

During the session, deputies will learn about the execution of the 2018 Plan, the projections for 2019; as well as the 2018 budget execution and the Draft Budget for the new year.

In addition, they will discuss the Draft Constitution resulting from the popular consultation process, which ran from August 13 through November 15, and which was studied by deputies in previous sessions.


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