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LGBT marches cancelled in Cuba due to ‘new tensions’

Patrick Kelleher May 7, 2019
LGBT marches cancelled in Cuba due to ‘new tensions’

May 2019: LGBT+ marches were cancelled in Cuba due to ‘new tensions.’ (STR/AFP/Getty)

Organisers of marches for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Cuba have announced that they have been cancelled due to “new tensions.”

The Cuban National Center for Sex Education announced yesterday (May 6) that planned marches in Havana and Camagüey will not go ahead.

The statement said the events were being cancelled due to “new tensions in the international and regional context” which they said “directly and indirectly affect our country.”

Other planned activities will reportedly still go ahead in Cuba

It also said the country’s Ministry of Public Health ordered them to cancel the marches, and said they were acting in line with “the Party, the State and the Revolution.

“We must emphasise that this change in the program of the Days does not imply the suspension of the rest of the activities,” the statement continued.

“On the contrary, the decision taken seeks to strengthen and protect everything planned for this edition, which even exceeds the program of last year, with a strong component of academic spaces.”

– Cuban National Center for Sex Education

“On the contrary, the decision taken seeks to strengthen and protect everything planned for this edition, which even exceeds the program of last year, with a strong component of academic spaces.”

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is observed on May 17 and aims to raise awareness of LGBT+ rights violations.

The campaign, which is observed across the world, began in 2005, and “transphobia” was added to its title in 2009.

In Cuba, the event is celebrated with huge street parades and marches every year. This year will likely be a more muted affair with two of the biggest events cancelled.

LGBT marches cancelled in Cuba due to ‘new tensions’
STR/AFP/Getty

Same-sex marriage has not yet reached Cuba

Last year, Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel said he was in favour of legalising same-sex marriage in the country.

Speaking on TV Telesur, he said he was in support of recognising marriage “between people without any restrictions” to help eliminate “any type of discrimination in society”.

The country voted in favour of its new draft constitution just three months ago. The government faced backlash from LGBT+ activists after it caved to pressure from evangelical church groups who expressed their opposition to an amendment which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Meanwhile, Cuba’s relationship with the United States, and with Donald Trump’s administration, appears to be worsening. Despite this, it was reported yesterday by AFP that more than a quarter of a million people visited Cuba from the US in the first four months of 2019.

Michel Bernal, commercial director of Cuba’s tourism ministry, told the news agency: “Despite defamatory campaigns against Cuba, 13.5 percent of tourists that visit us say they chose the island for its safety.”

More: Americas, anti lgbt, cancelled, Cuba, Cuba, international day against homophobia and transphobia, lgbt marches

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