Castro’s daughter to discuss gay rights during London visit

PinkNews Staff Writer June 29, 2009
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Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, is to speak at an event in London later this week.

Coinciding with Pride London, a special screening of the ground-breaking Cuban gay movie, Strawberry and Chocolate, will be followed by a panel question and answer sesssion.

Ms Castro will appear alongside the film’s screenwriter/director Juan Carlos Tabio and Alberto Roque, a leading gay rights activist in Cuba.

The event is part of the Barbican season, Cine Cuba: 50 Years of Revolution in Film, which runs from Friday 3 July to Thursday 9 July.

Ticket bookings online: or phone 0845 120 7527

Ms Castro, 46, is head of Cuba’s National Centre for Sex Education and the niece of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

She has said previously that she wants to “enrich the Cuban Revolution” with her fight for equality between the sexes and gay rights.

She has been a strong supporter of legal moves to grant equal rights to all citizens, the first step towards same-sex unions and access to gender reassignment surgery.

Sexual diversity was seen by Fidel Castro as a corrupt consequence of capitalism.

Homosexual sex was partially decriminalised in Cuba in 1979 and an equal age of consent was introduced in 1992.

While social attitudes towards gay people are generally negative, the capital city Havana has a thriving gay scene. All gay rights organisations are banned.

Under Fidel Castro, who ruled from 1959 until February of this year, many gay men suffered in Cuban labour camps as the regime ‘re-educated’ homosexuals.

Castro believed that hard work would rid the men of their “counter-revolutionary tendencies.”

Related topics: Americas, London

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