Cuba Hub




Cuba to Host International LGBT Conference Despite Criticism Over Human Rights Violations

ILGALAC

Next week Cuba will host the sixth International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association for Latin America and the Caribbean (ILGALAC) Regional Conference.

This will be the Communist country’s first time to host an international LGBT conference, a realization that isn’t sitting well with some who feel the conference shouldn’t take place in a country with such a lengthy record of human rights violations.

The Washington Blade reports:

CastroMariela Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro who is the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX,) is president of the local committee that organized the ILGALAC conference.

Mariela Castro did not return the Washington Blade’s request for comment. CENESEX’s website prominently features information about the ILGALAC conference that includes a preliminary agenda.

“As the host country for the sixth ILGALAC Regional Conference, Cuba is not exempt from the problems of the region’s LGBTI communities,” states the organization. “The humanistic nature of the Cuban Revolution has focused on the human being in his teleological purposes since its beginning. Although the Cuban LGBTI movement does not have the organization of other international movements, the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the country is now evident with more impact and achievements.”

Late last year, the Cuban parliament amended the country’s labor law to ban anti-gay employment discrimination. Many LGBT advocates also credit Cuba’s condom distribution campaign and sexual education cirriculum with producing one of the world’s lowest HIV rates.

Still, other argue Cuba’s less-than-stellar human rights record cannot be ignored

“Hosting a conference on LGBT rights is just another farcical attempt by the Cuban regime to pretend they care about anyone’s rights,” U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told the Blade in a statement. “The sad reality is that the Cuban people are harassed, beaten and bullied for having a point of view that differs from the regime’s. This desperate move to seem tolerant does not even come close to obscuring the repressive reality on the island.

Ignacio Estrada Cepera, founder of the Cuban League Against AIDS, noted that the Cuban government forcibly quarantined people with HIV/AIDS in state-run sanitaria until 1993. Other LGBT activists in the country point to the forced labor camps to which the government sent more than 25,000 gay men and others deemed unfit for military service during the 1960s. 


Leader of Russian Vigilante Group That Tortures Gay Teens Arrested in Cuba: VIDEO

MartsinkevichMaxim Martsinkevich, the leader of the homophobic vigilante group "Occupy Paedophilia" that has lured and tortured a number of gay teens in Russia before posting its exploits to social media, has been on the lam for several months now.

Martsinkevich most recently turned up in Cuba, and now RIA Novosti reports that he has been arrested on an international warrant:

More widely known under his nickname of Tesak, or machete, Martsinkevich was arrested in absentia by a Russian court last month on extremism charges.

Martsinkevich said during a January 8 interview that the criminal charges against him were orchestrated by Russia’s “pedo-lobby,” and that he did not intend to return to Russia, according to Russian tabloid Life News that has close links to the security services...

In a January 9 post on his website, Martsinkevich wrote that he had flown to Cuba from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, via the German city of Frankfurt...

The violent and dangerous exploits of Martsinkevich and "Occupy Pedophilia" and similar vigilante groups finally hit the mainstream media yesterday in a new must-watch CNN segment produced before Martsinkevich's arrest.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Martinskevich

Continue reading "Leader of Russian Vigilante Group That Tortures Gay Teens Arrested in Cuba: VIDEO" »


Cuba Implements Protections For Workers Based On Orientation

Cuban Parliament

The Cuban parliament has just passed an historic change to the island's labor codes that put them above most states here in the U.S. They have expanded the codes with language that explicitly protects gays and lesbians and bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and received support from Christian and intellectual parliamentary leaders.

However, for two steps forward there's one step back. The original draft of the changes included employment protections for political opinion but were removed in subsequent revisions. Dissidents and opponents of the Cuban government have latched on to the revision, making sure that it's known that while this is a step forward, it is also possibly a diversionary tactic to gloss over the removal of protections for political dissent.


Diana Nyad Talks to CNN's AC360 About Her Triumphant Cuba to Florida Swim: VIDEO

2_nyad

As Towleroad reported yesterday, out lesbian Diana Nyad completed an historic, epic swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West without the aid of a shark cage. An exhausted Nyad spoke with Sanjay Gupta following her swim about what brought her to it, and what got her through it.

"Push Cuba back, and push Florida toward you."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Diana Nyad Talks to CNN's AC360 About Her Triumphant Cuba to Florida Swim: VIDEO" »


Mariela Castro Leads March Against Homophobia in Cuba: VIDEO

Mariela_Castro

Mariela Castro led hundreds of people through the streets of Havana in a march against homophobia on Saturday, al Jazeera reports:

People danced La Rampa through the crowded city, chanting "Homophobia no! Socialism yes!" as they made their way through Havana for more than an hour. Cuba has previously persecuted homosexuals, particularly during the 1960s when being gay was outlawed and homosexuals were interned in work camps.

Mariela Castro said she is optimistic that the communist nation will eventually legalise gay marriage.

"What is most complicated is the time it takes to overcome prejudices," she said.

"We must change consciousness."

Watch a BBC report on the march and the situation for gays in Cuba, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mariela Castro Leads March Against Homophobia in Cuba: VIDEO" »


Mariela Castro Visits Liberty Bell in Philadelphia: VIDEO

Castro

Cuban gay rights activist and daughter of President Raul Castro is in Philadelphia to pick up an award from Philadelphia's Equality Forum after a brief tussle with the State Dept. over a visa approval, which she was granted last week.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

The AP reports:

Mariela Castro spoke briefly to reporters during her sightseeing tour. Asked about the health of her uncle and father, Castro replied: "They're wonderful, and I learn a lot from their example."

Commenting on the gay rights movement in the U.S., she said, "In this election especially, they showed that they form a very important vote in American society."

A married mother of three, Castro leads Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, which is part of the island nation's public health ministry. She is the country's most prominent gay rights activist, having trained police on relations with the LGBT community and lobbied lawmakers to legalize same-sex unions. She was elected as a deputy in Cuba's parliament in February.

Continue reading "Mariela Castro Visits Liberty Bell in Philadelphia: VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged