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Castro takes responsibility for Cuba persecuting gays

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  1. Bill Perdue 1 Sep 2010, 3:07pm

    The only Konzentrationslager remaining in Cuba is on the US base at Guantanamo. The only government sponsored kidnapping and torture is being done by the US military in contravention of international treaties.

    Castro’s brother, Raul Castro Ruz, current party/state boss was a member of the PSP, the Cuban Stalinist party that followed the Moscow ‘line’ before the Revolution. He was probably a key factor in promoting the regimes homophobia.

    Peter Tatchell explains “When Cuba adopted Soviet-style communism it also adopted Soviet-style prejudice and puritanism. Ever since Stalin promoted the ideology of “the socialist family” and recriminalized gay sex in 1934, communist orthodoxy dictated that homosexuality was a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”.

    That repression, but not the homophobia, ended during the 1970’s. It still has echoes in Cuban law that will have to be repealed before any real progress can be made. We have to demand that the government and the CCP launch an education campaign against homophobia and admit their own guilt in pandering to it.

    They’ll have to establish clear legal guidelines for total emancipation and repeal several anti-gay laws, among them Article 299: “pederastia con violencia”. It makes illegal an undefined offence that includes consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” prohibits public touching, fondling, kissing and cruising.

    These laws are similar to bigoted laws on the books in the EU and the US and that are hardly to the credit of a state or party that aims to be liberators and leaders. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a new policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.

  2. OMAR KUDDUS GayasylumUK 1 Sep 2010, 3:18pm

    “If someone is responsible, it’s me,” he said. This says it all. Again I just hope and pray that the British Home Office is paying attention and taking notes.

  3. David Myers 2 Sep 2010, 6:58am

    This is honest, surprising and encouraging. It’s never to late to admit and take responsibility for a mistake.

  4. Corey Mondello 3 Sep 2010, 12:06pm

    Seems the USgov, President Obama, Democrats/Repubs are less progressive than Socialists….seems they could learn a thing or two; “We the People” = Democratic Socialism !!!!

  5. Walter Lippmann 3 Sep 2010, 1:55pm

    The La Jornada interview, in a complete English translation, may be read here:

    A collection of hundreds of reports, documents and original translations from Spanish to English on the history of Cuba’s relations with its lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgendered citizens may be read here:

  6. Also remembering the general Latino machismo and homophobia that Cuba is located within.

  7. COURAGE NIGERIA 4 Sep 2010, 1:06pm

    Who could be more close minded than a communist regime. African people and leaders, learn a lesson.

  8. Jessica Geen:
    > In the last few years, Mariela Castro, the niece of the
    > former president and the daughter of his successor, Raul Castro,
    > has become a campaigner for LGBT rights.
    > Ms Castro, the head of Cuba’s National Centre for Sex Education,
    > has been a strong supporter of legal moves to grant equal rights
    > to all citizens, including steps towards same-sex unions and
    > access to gender reassignment surgery.

    Gender cannot be reassigned by surgery, Jessica. Gender is the inborn sense of self as male or female, and it is because it cannot be changed that we get our sex changed instead. You have mixed “sex reassignment surgery” with the alternative term “gender confirmation surgery”.

    Yes, UK law makes the same mistake, but that was because Tony and his band of catholic reactionaries at the time were determined not to allow UK law to say that sex could change, which is against Vatican policy. Also the UK government had been arguing in courts for years that sex couldn’t change, that it was determined forever by X and Y chromosomes (a scientifically illiterate mistake), and they didn’t agree with the European Court of Human Rights ruling against them which forced the new law, so they just decided to play stupid and write in a physical impossibility that is really insulting to all of us who know we were born with this gender because it is all we remember, from the earliest age. The civil servant in charge of the bill told me that explicitly.

    Mariela Castro has done far more than you imply though, far more than advocate legal moves. She has established a centre that facilitates community meetings for LGB and T communities and individuals, and provides all sorts of classes and assistance, she has attended international conferences and advocated for our rights against opposition from other countries, she arranged for transsexual patients to have surgery abroad at the expense of the Cuban health service, and she has arranged for Cuban surgeons to be trained so they now do surgery (at least male-to-female surgery) in Cuba.

    The only big gap is that she has fallen for the lies of some transphobic psychologists and hateful older activists on the subject of transsexual children, and banned any assistance for them until adulthood, which will ruin many more lives.

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