by Francisco Rodriguez Cruz, aka, Paquito
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Almost coinciding with the celebration on December 4 of the ninth anniversary of my blog, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Association (Ilga) has just given me the surprise of posting in its official pages an interview where I am presented as a defender of human rights in Cuba.
Sometimes one is afraid of the use of terms whose political manipulation in relation to our country leads us to murky and ungratifying stories with which on many occasions they tried to tarnish, and even attack, what was done by the Cuban Revolution in terms of equality of rights and social equity.
However, it is possible and very desirable to defend human rights in Cuba, because we also have a long way to go on that essential path. To do so implies a critical stance towards what has been achieved and what we lack, and when we do it with total honesty, it means that we are uncomfortable people both for the system’s propagandists at all costs, whether out of conviction or for the safeguard of some privileges, and for the recalcitrant enemies of socialism, who disguise their not at all altruistic interests with the labels of opponents or dissidents.
And this distancing does not imply any intermediate positioning. I don’t believe in centers or neutrality. Centrism and extremism are in politics only ways of masking or procuring benefits, most of the time with motivations in the individualistic background. Like everything else in life, these are statements that may require nuances. Nothing is absolute, especially in matters of subjectivities and filiations.
As I reached 48 years of age with nothing material to safeguard, I am free to say what I think and to do what I want, with all the responsibility that I am able, based on what I feel and believe to be fairer, to contribute to the collective well-being of LGBTI people and also of my homeland in its broadest sense. It’s my very particular idea about being a militant and a communist.
That’s what the nine years of this blog are all about. Thank you, Ilga, again. I will try to be consistent with this new label that I am given and that I consider being still very big: defender of human rights in Cuba.
Here’s the video:
I am Francisco Rodríguez Cruz, also known as Paquito, from Cuba; I am a Marti follower and an author; I am a communist and gay journalist; I am a convinced and superstitious atheist; I am the father of a son whom I have adored and have been a partner for fifteen years with a seronegative man who loves me; I have been an AIDS patient since 2003 and am a survivor of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for more than twelve years; I am a university professor and a student of life; a follower of Cuban economic issues and a passionate devourer of universal literature; an incontinent and belligerent moderate; a friend of my friends and a compassionate friend of my enemies; often wrong and never repentant; a hardened and eternal enthusiastic optimist; alive and kicking; in short, another ordinary man who wants to share his story, opinions and desires with you…