Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
Playuela Beach, located next to Cayo Guillermo, has been the site chosen to build one of the hotels that will undoubtedly be visited by the LGBTI community.
According to Mathu Hotel in Cuba, the country plans to open the Rainbow Muthu Hotel, the first hotel facility dedicated to the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community in October 2019.
The new hotel will have 248 rooms of high comfort, five restaurants, three bars, a room of animation and all the necessary facilities for the practice of aquatic sports.
“A perfect #LGBT-Friendly hotel, for an escape to #cayoguillermo #granmuthurainbow, will be an incredible place to visit all year round with these incredible rooms and views,” says one of the facility’s promotions.
The Muthu Hotel representation in Cuba has summoned CENESEX to help in the selection and training of the personnel that will work in the facilities; in addition to collaborating in events, promotions and campaigns.
By Redacción Razones de Cuba
May 16, 2019
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews
There are many images that swarm in social networks and in different international press media about the march that last May 11 which was called by some “independent activists” of the Cuban LGBTI community. In the vast majority of them, there is a morbid delight in showing the detention of four people who insisted on continuing the march, disregarding the considerations of the authorities who, in the absence of an official permit, urged the participants not to continue marching through traffic-filled streets.
In the video that Razones de Cuba shares with its readers, we see the exchange between a PNR official and several of the demonstrators, without any weapon whatsoever, in a tone of respect and logical argumentation. The media tends to silence these details, trying to show that the march was repressed in its entirety and not to give birth to these testimonies that the vast majority of the participants in the demonstration held a dialogue with the authorities, without outbursts or any desire to break with institutionality.
Respect, reason, and peace: cardinal points of citizen tranquility, for the search in Cuba of individual and general well-being under the rule of law.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
I have taken some time to reflect on the regrettable events that occurred during the 12th edition of the Day Against Homophobia. I pause at this moment with the conviction that this is not a finished debate.
I am the founder of the Cuban Days Against Homophobia, at a time when the idea that all activism in relation to sexual rights is political had already matured in me; therefore, it will always be permeated by specific political values and ideologies. Whoever does not situate himself from this angle sins out of naivety or tries to manipulate the complex reality.
No ideological struggle is free of contradictions and the complex process of building political consensus (if that is possible between Cubans) always has advances and setbacks.
The march not authorized by the government last May 11 was not produced only by the suspension by the State/Party of the traditional conga included in the programs of the Cuban Days against homophobia. The antecedents and the conjunctures that I perceive are:
Unique vertical dialogue and legitimacy of the CENESEX leadership by the State/Party in the fight against homophobia.
The State/Party’s obsessive and pernicious fear of horizontal leadership and the emergence of LGBT groups within civil society collides with a gradual public awareness of sexual rights as human rights. The formation of activists by CENESEX and the Cuban Days against Homophobia have generated a critical mass of activists that overflows institutional spaces and challenges the doctrines of control of thought and action that are generated from there. There are also many good people who are activists without having been linked to any institution.
Since a group of activists introduced the Yogyakarta Principles in 2007, their use has expanded to advocate non-discriminatory policies on sexual orientation and gender identity in accordance with international human rights law. The heterogeneity of these groups includes many ideological positions that fluctuate between radical Marxists, bourgeois social democrats, anarchists and neo-liberals and neo-annexionists. There are also the usual mercenaries who serve any ideology. For the monochrome vision of the State/Party and its institutions, these people are nothing more than counterrevolutionaries and any initiative arising from them is criminalized, in the name of national unity. It does not take into account that except for the neoliberals, annexionists and mercenaries, there are many progressive people who would put forth, from organized civil society, anti-discriminatory public policies.
Arbitrary arrests, violent repression, censorship and discrediting are neither revolutionary nor do they adhere to the Martian principles of a Republic, as endorsed in the recent Constitution.
2. The Cuban Days against Homophobia and Transphobia have lost their political character and their capacity for interlocution with people with non-homoregulatory sexualities and genders.
From the first editions, tensions arose in conceiving this space as a political and revolutionary celebration or commemoration. The result has been the celebration and the dangerous approach to banality and to what we wanted to avoid: to turn it into a march of Cuban gay pride with strong classist and neoliberal inspiration. While recognizing that pride in our identity is a political attitude, the conga itself has distorted that meaning and the parade of its leaders in pink convertible cars, the floats, the carnival atmosphere and the strange participation of transnational emporiums such as Google (in edition 11) are just some of the most notorious elements of this point.
The suspension of the conga last May 11 and the change of the party at the same time that the unauthorized march would take place, was a very counterrevolutionary and irresponsible maneuver. The high participation in the march and the follow-up in the social networks by the participants in the celebration of what was happening in the Padro speak for themselves of the fragmentation and violence that could have been avoided.
The parade of more than 100 people, peacefully chanting slogans in favor of sexual rights and recognizing rights for all citizens, without counterrevolutionary expressions along the Prado promenade, moves away unfounded statements (such as those accompanying the conga suspension) that the march was organized from Miami. What happened in the end, with the crude police repression and the detention of four people, was a provocation far removed from the meaning of the march. The presence of the media was taken advantage of and the unfortunate events that are now circulating in the news were unleashed.
On the other hand, the rich public exchanges with LGBT people have not taken place in Havana for more than six editions. Written speeches, the introduction of other just causes but without the conviction of those present, have hampered citizen participation. It would seem that music, half-naked bodies, transformationism [cross-dressing] and dancing in the conga are the fundamental objective. The essentially political has been enclosed to academic spaces where we cook in the same sauce.
3. The State/Party has negotiated with the rights for sexual orientation and gender identity like a pendulum.
This point is also complex. Without a doubt, CENESEX, the leadership of its director Mariela Castro and the voice of numerous activists have contributed to placing the rights of LGBT people on political agendas and in human rights discourses in Cuba. However, in the international context, pendulum positions have been shown. In 2010 our State/Party had to rectify its vote at the United Nations when it aligned itself with third world countries that condemned homosexuality with the death penalty and did not consider it to be the cause of extrajudicial executions. Since then, our representatives have been absent from several votes on LGBT rights, especially at ECOSOC.
From 2011 to date, the need to eliminate all forms of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is recognized in documents issued by the State/Party that include the Statutes of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Labor Code Law. However, from 2012 to 2013 serious tensions were generated by the public speeches of numerous activists associated with CENESEX on pending policies, including marriage equality.
On this issue, the director of CENESEX herself has expressed opinions that vary according to the circumstances. Her speech was finally profiled in favor of marriage equality during the debate on the constitutional project. Later we learned that in the same period the Catholic Church had been the mediator in the restoration of diplomatic relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States. At this point I paraphrase the Apostle [: in politics what is most important is what is not seen.
More recently, the elimination of article 68, which opened up the possibility in the Constitutional Bill of recognizing marriage equality, was a complicit wink from the State/Party to the fundamentalist religious groups, which have gained strength in Cuba and enjoyed complete freedom to demonstrate against the aforementioned article. In the meantime, they maintained tight control over the activists associated with the institution and no street actions were allowed against religious and fundamentalist hate speeches.
The first three months have passed since the proclamation of the Constitution and there is no debate or concrete action to comply with the complementary laws that define the adoption of the Family Code within two years. The approval of this Law will be taken to a referendum, thanks to the decisions of our representatives, experts in dictating policies through decree-laws in agendas that are peremptory to them.
I note that the Christian churches have been too quiet during the present day, although we know in good faith that many of their proselytes were in the vicinity of the feast organized by CENESEX doing their fundamentalist ideological work.
4. The 11/5 march marks a historic milestone in the construction of a Cuban LGBT movement.
Depends. Not thefirst unauthorized gear. It is preceded by some actions in the late 1990s, the wedding between a transgender person and a gay man, and other unpopular attempts that were marked by interests to subvert order. Most of these unconvinced activists are in the United States because of the gratifications of their political masters. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we have many more here who will do the impossible to torpedo any attempt at civil organization that dialogues with the State/Party.
We also have former activists who now live abroad, who are patriots and want to continue participating in the construction of a sovereign nation and have every right to do so.
Some have said that what happened on Saturday compared to May 1968 in Paris. Others have evoked the Stonewall Rebellion*, whose legacy has been taken as a global reference but which has been distorted by the generation of a universally classist, elitist LGBTI movement that reproduces the essences of the market and patriarchal domination of heteronormative oppression. In fact, in many countries, an attempt has been made to found anti-system movements and praxis that move away from the ideological right-wing and the political and commercial banalization of the international LGBTI movement.
What happens from now on will depend on concerted action and the lessons learned from these experiences. The permanence in force of a Law of Associations that limits and subsumes the rhetoric of a besieged square plus the fragile mechanisms of citizen participation hinder these actions.
Some view the march as a matter of winners and losers and focus their activism on opposition to CENESEX and Mariela Castro. With such a narrow vision it is not possible to make much progress either. Having a government institution to deal with these issues is necessary, but it does not limit the recognition of the right of LGBT people to self-organize as part of civil society, with the capacity to participate and challenge policies.
The march of May 11 also reflects that Cuba is not Paris 68 nor New York 69. A good part of political participation and the exercise of civil rights are done in social networks. The call became viral and despite the final outcome, people came to express their positions on this issue. To say that everyone was deceived or confused is contempt for people’s intelligence and at the same time, we must be very careful about who (or whom) benefits from results alien to our struggles.
On the other hand, to those who believe themselves to be owners of the Revolution and of thought, I inform you that a change of era has occurred in Cuban society. Comply with the Constitution and return the Revolution. [Santos Suarez, May 13, 2019]
*The Stonewall Inn bar was the epicenter of a rebellion of gay men and transgender people against police harassment in New York City in 1969. June will be 50 years old.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
A CubaNews translation edited by Walter Lippmann.
Two distinct, but well-founded and valuable views about international relations, comparing the points of view of the two most important economies in the world, was provided by the Strategic Culture Foundation in a comparative report by expert Federico Pieraccini on two events held respectively in Washington and Beijing, on some of the most transcendental issues of global development.
In Beijing, in the Belt and Road Forum, more than 40 world leaders discussed the Initiative of the Belt and the Road (B&R), a project destined to transform the entire Eurasian continent, improving free trade between dozens of countries through investments in infrastructure, transport, energy and technological cooperation.
B&R is a gigantic project called to expand over the years to the pace that today’s technology allows, without ignoring the needs of the countries involved.
The number of participants in the Beijing B&R event is astounding: more than 5,000 delegates, 37 heads of state and 10 of the most important members of ASEAN.
One hundred and twenty-five countries have declared intentions of cooperating in the big project, and 30 organizations have ratified 170 agreements that add up to an investment project by the People’s Bank of China of more than $1.3 trillion between 2013 and 2027.
It is a revolutionary project that will characterize the upcoming decades, if not centuries. It contrasts with the U.S. trend toward hegemonic domination because it is based on humanitarian considerations to overcome conflicts, as well as avoiding wars by means of cooperation and shared prosperity.
Washington, demanding loyalty in exchange for nothing, and incapable of inflicting damage to Russia and China by itself, resorts to pressure on its European allies through a war of tariffs and technological prohibitions to favor U.S. companies.
Beijing is behaving in a way that is opposed to the moral in Aesop’s fable of of “The North Wind and the Sun”, offering in the B&R project a win-win cooperation and the benefits that derive from it.
The project tends to raise the standard of living of the population through huge loans to improve the basic infrastructure of the countries: railways, schools, roads, aqueducts, bridges, ports, Internet connectivity and hospitals. The objective is to create a sustainable system in which dozens of countries cooperate among each other for the collective benefit of their population.
The Chinese initiative aims to offer all participant countries equal opportunities for development on the basis of their real ability to improve the well-being of all parties involved and not on military or economic power.
The B&R so far has the support of 126 states and territories, as well as a large number of international organizations. It is the new face, truthful and realistic, of a true world community.
This Chinese initiative could only have taken place in a post-unipolar world with multiple power centers.
Washington is aware of the changes that have taken place in the last ten years and of the change of attitude of their political allies. This is reflected in the wording of the two documents that guide every U.S. administration: the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS). These explain how the United States sees the world and what it intends to do to combat the emerging multi-polar world order.
Trump can’t afford a conflict with Venezuela, Iran or North Korea, neither militarily or politically. In the cases of Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, they don’t seem very willing to sacrifice themselves for Washington; and there are no jihadists to arm and launch against helpless civilians as happened in the Middle East. So Washignton doesn’t find forces capable of defeating the peoples determined to resist U.S. imperialism for patriotic reasons.
Attacking Iran would result in a devastating Iranian response against the U.S. troops deployed in dozens of bases scattered throughout the Middle East. It would inflict losses that would be too costly for Washington, which would make any breakthroughs pyrrhic.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is untouchable by virtue of its nuclear deterrence policy.
What’s left for Trump and his neoconservatives are just empty war threats. and a great deal of war propaganda that is only good to fill the coffers of the U.S. weapon manufacturers.
May 13, 2019.
This article may be reproduced by quoting the newspaper POR ESTO as the source.
Author: Miguel Febles Hernández | email@example.comMay 16, 2019 19:05:11
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
CAMAGÜEY. – For those who insist on the siege, intolerance and excessive attack against everything that smells of Revolution, Mariela Castro Espín has the exact answer: the irreverent and “undisciplined” who star in this marvelous revolutionary experience do not allow themselves to be dominated by anyone.
In a meeting with professors and students from the Carlos J. Finlay University of Medical Sciences in this province, the director of the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex) referred to the challenges facing the Cuban people today in the face of the intensification of the aggressive policy of U.S. imperialism.
She placed special emphasis on the media campaign orchestrated in recent times by external and internal enemies to discredit the reality of the Cuban Revolution, its dreams, goals and desires, and the marvelous quality of this people, united by values and by an emancipatory historical project.
Faced with so much hostility, attempts at manipulation and bad intentions that only try to confuse, dismantle processes and put an end to the Revolution, the deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power called to counterpose to it the intelligence, sensitivity, and commitment of the true patriots.
In that first battlefront, Cenesex is marching today, as an institution of the Cuban State in charge of advising on the definition of policies related to the defense of sexual rights, through comprehensive sexuality education and health promotion.
Together with an enthusiastic team of specialists and activists, she also carries out active research, organizing educational and community programs, and carrying out educational campaigns, such as the one she has been promoting for twelve years in the country against homophobia and transphobia.
“That is what we fight against: everything that generates discrimination, inequalities and inequities to humiliate, exclude and take away rights and opportunities,” said Mariela Castro Espín, referring to the essence of the work of the institution she directs, which she rightly called: educate in the sense of freedom.
The twelfth edition of the Cuban Days Against Homophobia and Transphobia, based in this city, has been a step forward in the effort to make the motto that presides over it a reality: All rights for all people, knowing that, along with the necessary legal changes, a profound process of cultural transformation must also take place.