Havana, Cuba.-Cuban Parliament today started one of its regular sessions, and it is identified as a result of the historical development of the island and the genuine crystallization of the democratic aspirations of its people.
Officially named as the National Assembly of People’s Power, the legislative body has its antecedents in the first Constituent Assembly, held in Guáimaro in 1869, and those similar in Baraguá (1878), Jimaguayú (1895) and La Yaya (1897), celebrated during wars of national liberation against Spanish colonialism.
During the early 20th century, the dominance by the United States over the economic sphere also meant changes in the political life of the nation and at the same time, the adoption of governance models of the northern country, reflected in the constitutions of 1901 and 1940.
The current model, established in 1976, represents the sovereign will of all the people. Thus, the Parliament is the only body with constituent and legislative authority.
The government or the President, as stated by the constitution of the Republic cannot veto the laws passed.
As distinctive features, the Cuban system of People’s Power is comprised of the National Assembly, Provincial and Municipal Assemblies, the People’s Council and the Electoral Constituency, which guarantees the democratic exercise of the people in choosing their representatives, without the mediation of partisan campaigns.
Like its predecessors, the current 8th parliamentary term, effective for five years, ordinarily meets in two session periods each year and decides on the constitutionality of laws and decrees.
At the same time, discusses and approves national plans for economic and social development as well as the principles of foreign and domestic policy. According to Articles 73 and 74 of the Cuban Constitution, during the legislative period the deputies are the ones who choose the officials of the presidency of Parliament.
In addition, they appoint members of the State Council, a body that acts on behalf of the National Assembly between its regular sessions, executes its agreements and complies with other constitutional functions.
The Cuban Parliament occupies one of the top places worldwide regarding the rate of female presence, with 299 parliamentarians, equivalent to 48.86 percent of the total number of deputies (612).