Fidel Castro Hub




Ahead Of Gay Pride, Cuban Activists Stage Kiss-In To Pressure Communist Government

CubaKissIn

LGBT activists in Cuba held a kiss-in yesterday to raise awareness of their continued oppression in the communist nation. They also presented Parliament with a list of demands, including investigations into 60s-era roundups of gay Cubans, laws that respect equality and more police protections against hate crimes.

The action comes just days before Cuba holds its second gay pride and was organized by a group called Project Rainbow, which calls itself an "independent and anti-capitalist LGBT group."

The Miami Herald offers some more details:

"Our document calls on the Cuban government to fully comply with international agreements it has signed on human rights, especially those that apply to LGBT rights," [activist Ignacio] Estrada said after delivering the petition [to Parliament].

The petition also calls on lawmakers to launch an investigation of the Military Units to Aid Production, or UMAPs — hard-labor camps created by Fidel Castro during the 1960s to detain homosexuals and government critics — and requests trials for government officials responsible for the camps.

Activists are also demanding that authorities stop applying the vaguely worded crime of “pre-criminal dangerousness” to gays and instead investigate complaints of those who are beaten or fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation, Estrada said.

Cuban society has made small steps toward accepting their LGBT comrades — thanks in large part to Mariela Castro, daughter of current president Raul and Fidel's niece — but is still ruled by a macho culture that denigrates and dismisses homosexuality.


Gay Cuban Man to Marry Transgender Woman as Birthday Present for Fidel Castro

Iriepa_estrada

A gay man is set to marry a transgender woman in Cuba on August 13 in Havana, on Fidel Castro's birthday, to send a message to the leader who persecuted gays and lesbians at the beginning of his revolution, Latin American Herald Tribune reports:

Cuba Wendy Iriepa, a 37-year-old who underwent a sex-change operation in 2007 on the island, and Ignacio Estrada, a 31-year-old gay man who is seropositive, will marry in an open ceremony that they hope will mark a “before and an after” in Cuba with dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez as matron of honor.

“We met on May 13 of this year and we always intended to get married three months later,” Estrada – who considers himself gay but had fallen in love with Wendy, now a woman – said.

But the couple also decided to tie the knot on the “controversial” date of Aug. 13 to coincide with Castro’s 85th birthday and emphasize the “gigantic” step their union will signify for the island’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual, or LGBT, community.

Castro, in an interview a year ago, acknowledged the homophobic persecution gays and lesbians suffered in Cuba at the beginning of his revolution, and he admitted his responsibility for not paying “enough attention” to the deed that he called a “great injustice,” Estrada said.

Reuters adds: "The couple has scheduled their free, state-authorized nuptial ceremony at an official 'wedding palace' in Havana, complete with cases of beer courtesy of the socialist state."


Fidel Castro Takes Blame for Persecution of Gays in Cuba: 'If Someone is Responsible, It's Me'

Fidel

Andrés Duque at Blabbeando translates a front-page interview with Fidel Castro published in today's La Jornada, a Mexican newspaper:

- Who, then, was directly or indirectly responsible for not putting a stop to what was happening in Cuban society?  The Party? Because the Communist Party of Cuba still does not 'explicitly' ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
- No - says Fidel - If someone is responsible, it's me...
"It is true that at the time I could not take care of that issue... I found myself immersed, primarily, in the October Crisis [as the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is known in the island], in war, on political matters..." 
- But this became a serious and grave political problem, Comandante
- Understood, understood ... We didn't know how to give it value ... systematic sabotages, armed attacks were happening all the time; we had so many problems, some terrible, problems of life or death - you know? - at we did not give it enough attention.

Read the full translation at Blabbeando.


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