From the Cuban sexual diversity strategy, unique in the world, many countries, even developed ones, could learn from it,” says Canadian researcher Emily Kirk, author of the first foreign book on the official approach to sexual diversity in the country.
Cuba’s Gay Revolution: normalizing sexual diversity through a health-based approach is the first overseas vision of the Cuban Program to normalize sexual diversity based on health. Author: Youth Rebel Published: 09/02/2018 | 09:00 pm
Although it is not among the books presented these days in La Cabaña, the debut of a text on Cuban reality is news in the international media.
This is the first vision from abroad of the Cuban program to normalize sexual diversity based on health: Cuba’s gay Revolution: normalizing sexual diversity through a health-based approach was published by Lexington Books, from the United States, after two years of persistent effort by its author, Canadian Emily Kirk, Doctor of Science in Latin American Studies and expert on global development issues.
She decided to first publish the results of her field research in the world’s most difficult publishing market, not so much because of the controversy over the sexual issue, but because of the suspicion that any scientific defense of the social achievements of revolutionary Cuba raises in that country.
This year, the book will be printed in the UK and Canada and presented in Spain. It has already been translated into Turkish and a Cuban publisher offered to take it to Spanish. Meanwhile, a copy of the work will be available at the Cenesex documentation center, courtesy of Kirk.
Beyond its publicized novelty as a first approach to the Cuban official vision on this issue, the text is a working tool for the multidisciplinary team that examines the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals in Brazil, Fiji, Ecuador, India, South Africa and Cuba.
As an international expert in health programs, she emphasizes the virtues of a strategy that is almost invisible to our population because of its daily obviousness. Her opinion is conclusive: the Cuban treatment of sexual diversity is a unique and very special experience in the world. Many countries, even developed ones, could learn from it to advance in the solution of problems that accumulate centuries of inequality.
You don’t have it all figured out, there is much to gain even in terms of laws, conduct, sexist stereotypes…But it is impressive how they have managed to focus their actions on the unquestionable value of human health, their physical and emotional well-being, beyond the subjective interpretation of what is a sexual right or how they exercised, which is the most frequent approach that other countries work with,” explained Dr. Kirk in an exclusive interview for Sexo Sentido.
The choice of the title of her work certainly reflects an advertising strategy, Emily said, smiling. The Cuban Revolution is well-known and attracts a lot of interest. Part of that admiration is due to the government’s obsession with the health of the people and its sincere efforts to bring that care to other parts of the world, he said.
She began her research on the Cuban health system in 2008, and from 2011 she focused on the systematization of treatment of sexual diversity. She has known the island since she was a child because he used to accompany her father, Dr. John Kirk, whose love for the history of Cuba she honors with this book today.
In the last ten years, she has been able to observe the country’s evolution regarding these issues, and she admires very much what has been achieved by Cenesex, the Federation of Cuban Women and other Cuban institutions, but above all, the change of mentality that is already being felt in the street.
It also believes that we have great advantages over other countries in the area in terms of laws in favor of the family and individual rights. It states that our society is prepared to update its codes in terms of what is popularly incorporated as knowledge, feeling and social behavior.
He enthusiastically asserts that her studies of Creole reality do not end here. The book is a balance between 1959 and 2014, but Cuba continues to evolve and she is eager to observe this process and share her achievements with other nations where her academic tasks and her humanist vocation also take her.
In all countries, this is a problem to be addressed. In my city, diversity marches began 25 years ago and the first time around 100 people participated (including my family); however, in 2016,100,000 people marched, a quarter of the entire population “.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
By Juventud Rebelde
Published November 13, 2017 11:19:49 AM
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
LOS ANGELES, November 13. —Lena Headey, who plays the part of Cersei Lannister in the acclaimed TV show Game of Thrones, has come forward with claims of sexual harassment against the well-known Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, thus joining a growing list of similar accusations, according to Telesur.
Through the Madrid, Spain-based Heroes Comic Con, the actress revealed that she also was harassed by the Weinstein Company and acknowledged that the ongoing wave of allegations made by a large number of female performers in Hollywood should have taken place earlier.
Headey posted on Twitter that, during the Venice Film Festival, the producer asked her to take a walk with him, and at one point Weinstein made some suggestive comment. She just laughed it off, but has never been in any Miramax film since.
Two years later, in Los Angeles, after a breakfast meeting with the producer, he asked Headey to go up to his hotel room with him to give her a script. Despite the fact that she made everything quite clear to him, he marched her to his room with his hand on her back.
When Weinstein’s key card to his room did not work, Headey says, he grabbed her arm tightly and walked her to the hotel exit, called her a taxi, and whispered: “Don’t tell anybody about this. Not your manager, not your agent”.
Israeli-American filmmaker Harvey Weinstein was exposed before public opinion following the publication of reports in The New Yorker and The New York Times that the producer is facing 64 charges of rape and/or sexual harassment. What started with the accusations of eight brave women performers mobilized others in Hollywood and elsewhere who lived through the same experience at some point in their careers but chose to remain silent out of shame or fear. It seems that the Weinstein case will keep tongues wagging, inasmuch as it has become a banner under which women are airing an issue which, more often than not, is kept under wraps and usually marked by doubts as to the validity of the allegations and lack of sufficient legal support.
Most of the time, Weinstein’s alleged targets were young showbiz hopefuls. He is said to have abused them with the help of his colleagues and his powerful credentials. (Photo: Getty Images)
The actress recalls a meeting with Weinstein in which the producer “regaled me with offers of a lavish life filled with trips around the world on private planes if I would be his girlfriend”, she wrote on Instagram. Kelly says she declined.
In the summer of 2000, while she was filming the Miramax-distributed Get Over It, Sagemiller says Weinstein invited her into his hotel room, where he asked for a massage and refused to let her leave the room until she kissed him.
British actress Dix was 22 when Weinstein invited her to his room at the Savoy Hotel, ostensibly to watch footage from a film in which she was appearing. “As soon as I was in there, I realized it was a terrible mistake”.
The French actress told Le Parisien that Weinstein allegedly pursued her after his company bought the 1993 film Fausto, in which Darel starred. In 1995, she says, Weinstein asked her to meet him at a suite in The Ritz, where he allegedly propositioned her—even though his wife at the time was in the next room.
He offered to have me be his mistress a few days a year. That way we could continue to work together. Basically, it was ‘If you want to continue in America, you have to go through me.’”
“What could I do? Could I go to the police and say, ‘This disgusting man made me an indecent proposal in his hotel room at The Ritz?’ ” Darel told People. “They would have laughed at me. Even when you are raped it is difficult to prove, and society, in many cases, puts the burden of proof on women.”
Forlani, star of the Miramax movie Boys and Girls, alleges that she “escaped” Weinstein’s advances five times.
When Beckinsale was 17, she alleges, she was invited to meet with Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel. Though she assumed the meeting would be in a conference room, she says she was sent to the producer’s room instead. “He opened the door in his bathrobe,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
After meeting with Weinstein and a director in a hotel lobby to discuss a movie role, “Harvey asked me to stay and chat with him,” Delevingne wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “As soon as we were alone he began to brag about all the actresses he had slept with and how he had made their careers and spoke about other inappropriate things of a sexual nature.
“He invited me to come to his hotel room for a drink. We went up together. It was hard to say no because he’s so powerful. All the girls are scared of him. Soon, his assistant left and it was just the two of us. That’s the moment where he started losing control,” the French actress wrote in The Guardian. “We were talking on the sofa,” Seydoux alleges, “when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted. I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Because I knew what kind of man he was all along.” He then invited me to his room. I quickly declined and asked his assistant if my car was outside. She said it wasn’t and wouldn’t be for a bit and I should go to his room. At that moment I felt very powerless and scared but didn’t want to act that way hoping that I was wrong about the situation. When I arrived I was relieved to find another woman in his room and thought immediately I was safe. He asked us to kiss and she began some sort of advances on his direction. I swiftly got up . . . I said again that I had to leave. He walked me to the door and stood in front of it and tried to kiss me on the lips. I stopped him and managed to get out of the room.”
After casting the actress in Emma, Weinstein allegedly asked Paltrow to meet with him in a suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, where she says he put his hands on her and suggested “they head to the bedroom for massages,” according to The New York Times. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” says Paltrow.
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Jolie told The New York Times. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
“In the early 2000s Harvey Weinstein called me into his office,” Graham wrote in Variety. “There was a pile of scripts sitting on his desk. ‘I want to put you in one of my movies,’ he said and offered to let me choose which one I liked best. Later in the conversation, he mentioned that he had an agreement with his wife. He could sleep with whomever he wanted when he was out of town. I walked out of the meeting feeling uneasy. There was no explicit mention that to star in one of those films I had to sleep with him, but the subtext was there.
French actress Godrèche says that following a meeting at the Cannes Film Festival, Weinstein invited her to his suite at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, where he allegedly asked to give her a massage. “The next thing I know, he’s pressing against me and pulling off my sweater,” she told the Times. Godrèche then left the suite.
Costume designer Dunning says that Weinstein offered her a screen test before inviting her to a meal; upon arriving at the restaurant, she says, Dunning “was told that Mr. Weinstein’s earlier meeting was running late, so she should head up to his suite,” according to the Times. There, Dunning found a bathrobe-clad Weinstein, who allegedly offered her contracts for three films on the condition that she have three-way sex with him. “You’ll never make it in this business,” she says he replied when she laughed in response. “This is how the business works.”
The actress, who starred in a string of Miramax movies in the 90s, told The New Yorker that in 1995, Weinstein was alone with her in a hotel room, and proceeded to massage her shoulders, which made her “very uncomfortable.” She alleges that he then chased her around the room. A few weeks later, says Sorvino, Weinstein abruptly showed up at her apartment in New York after midnight. Sorvino says she told him her boyfriend was en route—a lie that persuaded Weinstein to leave. She believes that night negatively impacted her career: ”I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.”
Campbell, a writer and artist, wrote in The Times of London that in 1995, Weinstein called her out of the blue and invited her to meet with him about potential work in his hotel room. There, she alleges, he asked her to “jump in the bath” with him.
With information from Vanity Fair
By David Brooks, US correspondent for Mexico’s LA JORNADA daily
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Faced with the increasingly obscene and dangerous political landscape in this country, we hear responses that are moving from the simple no to Trump and his agenda, to something that could generate a progressive change in this country.
The most recent state and local elections in various parts of the country held on November 7 were what some expected, wished, prayed for … that is, a first warning of what could be a wave of repudiation and even progressive change through the the polls in the intermediate elections (federal legislative and several governorships) in 2018 and through new, or renewed, decentralized but allied social movements.
Not only did the Democrats sweep away Republicans in states like Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and others, but many of the electoral winners were not only Democrats but progressives, and in many cases these victories had a tinge of divine vengeance.
For example, Lee Carter, a marine veteran of the Iraq war, who identified himself as a democratic socialist, defeated a Republican to take his place in the lower house of Virginia, and celebrated that night by inviting everyone to sing Solidarity Forever, the hymn of trade union movement.
Also winning a seat in that same chamber wasa Danica Roem, defeating a Republican who had promoted anti-transgender measures and who had declared himself the main anti-homosexual in the state; She is now the first transgender state legislator in the country. Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala became the first Latinas to become state legislators in Virginia’s history.
In Hoboken, New Jersey, the new mayor is Ravinder Bhalla, a Sikh lawyer, who declared: I am everything Trump hates: a dark man in a turban, and a proud American with the knowledge to stop his assault on the values of our country. . In Helena, Montana, the progressive Wilmot Collins is not only the first African-American to be mayor in the history of the state, but is a refugee from Liberia who won against the Republican mayor who opposed to the entry of refugees to this country.
In Philadelphia, perhaps the most radical district attorney in the country, Larry Krasner, civil rights lawyer, fierce critic of the massive incarceration in this country and who has represented Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street activists was elected. In the Atlantic County commissioner race in New Jersey, Ashley Bennett defeated the Republican in that position; She decided to challenge him at the polls after he via Facebook if they would return home in time to cook their. dinners.
Braxton Winston, who won a seat in the city council of Charlotte, North Carolina, is an activist whose image went viral: his fist held high in front of a battalion of riot police before being arrested in a demonstration against the death of an African-American at the hands of police. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the next mayor will be progressive Tim Keller, who replaces the outgoing conservative Republican.
The progressive triumphs were remarkable, as they offered more evidence of a growing sector within the Democratic Party outside the centrist leadership. Electoral organizations such as the Working Families Party and the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) together with the growing diaspora of the support movement for the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders (still the most popular national politician in the polls), Our Revolution and new networks as Indivisible, they were key to generating these triumphs.
But it was also the result of new alliances between social groups, especially immigrant organizations that promoted candidates who directly faced the xenophobic policies of pro-Trump Republicans and other civil rights defense organizations such as Black Lives Matter, along with organizations defending the rights of women and environmentalists.
What happened in the November elections with hundreds of progressive local and state candidates is the beginning of a wave (…) a massive repudiation of Donald Trump, said Joe Dinkin of the Working Families Party. Independent experts, such as the influential Cook Political Report, indicate that the polls, for now, indicate that a political wave in favor of the Democrats is being glimpsed in 2018, implying that they could retake control of one, and even both houses of Congress.
The wide range of active resistance against Trump is showing its potential to go beyond being just opposition to the populist and at the same time plutocratic right-wing agenda and pushing forward a progressive agenda both at the polls and in the social sphere, where some claim it is growing a movement of many movements, varied and decentralized, as described by LA Kaufman in The Guardian. He argues that, in addition to established progressive organizations that have seen their membership grow (as in the case of Working Families and DSA), an impressive number of local grassroots groups have flourished -but at the same time, adding to national networks as Indivisible- that as a whole are six times bigger than the Tea Party (the most influential rightwing current within the Republican Party).
And not everything is manifested or has an end in the electoral field, with these movements -inmigrants, indigenous people, anti-war military veterans, defenders of freedoms and civil rights, environmentalists, professional athletes, artists, students, workers’ organizations and trade unions- fighting in several fronts, but with more and more solidarity among them, which makes them very dangerous for the guardians of power.
The “no” that defined the initial resistance to the seizure of power by Trump and his allies is now seeking to invent, to invite, to a yes.
(Taken from La Jornada )
They don’t feel sorry, should they?
Roberto Alfonso Lara Licenciado en Periodismo.
Graduado en la Universidad Central “Marta Abreu”
de Las Villas en 2013.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Two women walk together, holding hands, appropriating the same space and right that society allows heterosexual couples. Two women love each other and do not hesitate to share their affection, under the warm sun of these days. Two women kiss in public –an innocent touch of lips– and around them the looks of contempt, the feeling of disgust, the scandalized common shame.
-I don’t know, wow, I would be sorry, warns another woman.
Prejudices persist and reality is responsible for challenging them. Every day it is more frequent to see the amorous self-assurance of two women (or men) in the street. They try to lead their lives in this way, naturally, like the rest of the people, without feeling discrimination and offense towards one or another relationship. But the more habitual the scene is, the more settled the phobia of the different. There are still many people who conceive and accept, in public, only one type of affection.
To love and show it openly through any caress, goes through a strongly patriarchal culture, which still recognizes as legitimate and obligatory the value system linked to heterosexuality. Censure the candid kiss between two females with the same arrogance that should admonish the kissing, almost pornographic, of two young people of the same or opposite sex in a park or corner of the city. What’s reprehensible, given the case, does not lie in the sexual condition of those who kiss, but in the impudent manner in which something so intimate is exhibited. However, the morality shared today is sometimes more condescending in the face of obscenity and less in the face of what differs from their beliefs.
The prevailing macho and homophobic tradition repudiates the expressions of affection between two lesbians, for many, the most hidden and marginalized population within homosexuality. The reactions and terms used to define them (“disgusting”, “filthy”, “repulsive”) are truly offensive and show how little literacy continues Cuban society on issues related to sexual and civic education.
For the psychologist and activist Norma Guillard, a decades-long defender of the rights of lesbian women in Cuba, the situations of discrimination and rejection that involve them represent another example of gender-based violence in the country. This makes it difficult to face “lesbophobia” in the family and social spheres; more when there is not even a systematic observation about their conflicts, nor is sexuality promoted from an early age that allows people to face, with the necessary self-esteem, the condition in which they wish to live and be happy.
However, the matter goes beyond the institutional and legal efforts in favor of the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Intersex people (LGBTI), even in the nations where they have been recognized. Very recently, last October in Buenos Aires, Argentina –considered one of the most “gayfriendly” capitals in Latin America– Mariana Gómez, married to Rocío Girat, was arrested for kissing in public with her wife, in a clear attack on her sexual orientation The fact gave rise to protests against the obvious episode of lesbophobia.
If kissing is, as we know, a liberating and exciting act, its enjoyment in public, in a measured and tender way, should be assumed without sexist and discriminatory questions. Nobody is given the power to decide who should do it or not, but the possibility of being more tolerant, sensitive and respectful of the difference.
Roberto Alfonso Lara Licenciado en Periodismo.
Graduado en la Universidad Central “Marta Abreu”
de Las Villas en 2013.
Donate Blood, Not Prejudice
By LISANDRA GÓMEZ GUERRA.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
The Autoexclúyete [Self-Exclusion] Campaign seeks to guide people on the health requirements they must have so their blood can be used
At the Sancti Spíritus Provincial Blood Bank, behind the desk of the receptionist, there is a poster that, rather than informing, generates noise, misinterpretation and, above all, segregation.
Seeking to explain the health requirements that a person must have to become a blood donor, the poster warns: “There are individual behaviors and actions the law does not prohibit, but that can be a disease-transmission risk among those who practice them. It is recommended that these people self-exclude, that is, they should abstain from donating their blood. Among these practices are: homosexuality, bisexualism, sexual promiscuity …”
This is worrisome because the fact that an institution belonging to the health sector expresses such misconception on the diversity of tastes, behaviors and inclinations of human sexuality is indicative of underlying discrimination.
According to Graduate Nurse Víctor González, Deputy Director of the Center, the Autoexclúyete Campaign seeks to guide the population on what health requirements they must have for their blood to be used. Thus, everyone should be able to tell whether they are eligible or not to donate blood. But, more than that, the poster reveals that at this workplace, in the 21st Century, several myths and misconceptions are still held.
Historically, homosexuals have been blamed for the emergence and spread of HIV. Several religions maintain that it is a punishment for going against nature. For years, however, science has been responsible for denying this and, although it is true that AIDS is more common in men than in women, it has also been shown that its spreading was linked to the widespread habit of not using condoms.
It is also known that in Africa –the geographic region where the disease began spreading– the first infections were among heterosexual persons. The truth is that AIDS has no face.
This wrong perception is also linked to the prejudice that the homosexual population is promiscuous. It is striking that, for the World Health Organization, a promiscuous person is “one who has more than two sexual partners in a year”. So the label fits homosexuals, bisexuals, heterosexuals, transsexuals and as many denominations as we would care to mention.
Rather than worrying about how a person finds pleasure, it would be advisable that the Provincial Blood Bank maintain its excellent work. To this end, there are some provisions –a sort of ABC– ranging from detection by primary health care services of those who wish and are eligible to donate blood, to the analyses of blood samples to corroborate the quality and type of blood, whoever the person is.
The real risks are not in what we are, but in the responsibility (or lack of it) with which we face our lives. Only free from stereotyped conceptions can we live in a more just and less exclusionary world.
10 Responses to “Donate blood, not prejudice”
Incredible, as I read it I do not believe it … and what role has played in all this by the administration of the blood bank that has allowed such a poster ?? … UFF … attitudes like these leave a lot to be desired …
Companions of Escambray:
With my mouth open I have been left to read the Public Health reply to this letter, published in today’s print edition. I had not really read the commentary from the journalist Lisandra Gómez and ran to see her on this medium. Why have not they put that reaction here already? I hope to see you soon and, if you can, to include this opinion below.
First of all I want to say that it is a very serious disrespect to the readers to send a press text so poorly worded. The lack of agreement, coordination in ideas and misuse of gerunds and other components of language are obvious. Incidentally, even the poster contains linguistic errors. And it has been there for years, according to them, without someone noticing not only the errors of form, but, above all, content!
The poster is very eloquent, well, it is enough to publish it alone, without comment, to realize that the letter sent by the sanitary authorities seeks only to protect itself from a correct criticism, but was eluded by them, since apparently they believe themselves infallible.
A few years ago, I think that in the middle of 2014, I read another similar reaction and I think it becomes worrisome that tendency to not accept the external valuations, more when in the eyes are mistaken.
I would recommend to those who wrote this document to contact the fellows of the Cuban Association of Social Communicators to give them a course on how to write, brainstorm ideas and, finally, communicate. I’m serious. So maybe they do not incur new mistakes other than that already denounced by the publication.
Finally I recommend you reread the letter of the companera Lisandra so that they realize that yes, they exclude instead of adding followers to the campaign of blood donation. And discriminate. The poster speaks for itself.
I, too, have been stunned by such a poster. If, as from journalism itself, we have tackled on other occasions, blood banks are rigorously analyzed before use, if Cuba is ever more advanced in methods and resources to ensure safe blood, if the fact that donations are made voluntarily contributes to that aspiration, what does the campaign of self-exclusion then respond to? Do they no longer have the necessary resources for a reliable quality test, or are they increasingly costly to the country and, therefore, is it expected that this measure will contribute to safer donations? This initiative is worrying, as well as others that have appeared in recent times, but are another matter.
And who says that heterosexual people with a single partner can not be carriers of HIV, one responds to their sexual behavior, but what about the couple? What else do you do if you are gay, bisexual, straight or trans, autoexclúyete discriminates more, if you want to prevent: rapid testing is a method to detect HIV / AIDS.
What a shame to find such promotional banners like these. Apparently, we do not agree on promotion and propaganda, as close as May 17 and the day against homophobia. Thanks to whatever, we have in the world a profession called “journalism” that criticizes, values and educates. Good post
What communicator and designer could participate in the conception of this campaign? That is discrimination, segregation, an outrage and use of faculties that no institution can tell people to EXCLUDE to donate blood. I have donated blood repeatedly and have never been asked such things.
And the blood does not undergo a rigorous analysis to know if it is optimal or not? Or just for the word of the donors is approved ???
Congratulations to the journalist Lisandra.
When I saw the misleading poster (let’s call it that), I wondered where they received the title that accredits them as health officials, those responsible for such nonsense (I included from who conceived the idea of the poster, who gave the campaign its name and even who approved it and put it on).
I came back to a country lost in geography (I think beyond the stone age) and I resisted thinking that in the country where I trained as a scientist there could be people so twisted, able to hide their homophobia and disguise it from ignorance, illiteracy, medical, epidemiological and other excesses that I prefer not to mention.
SELF-EXCLUDING !!! ??? but where it has seen similar and opprobrious nonsense !!! And such inadequate and erroneous arguments. Does this nurse not know about the very rigorous quality tests to which the donated blood is (donation by donation) before being released and declared fit for use? Or is that the hidden intention of “de-instruction” another.
Is it that we are going to return to a past that we have criticized so many times and that we have so often admitted the gravity of the mistakes made?
I wonder if there is a scientific advisor who reads what is going to be published in that institution or someone responsible for such nonsense to not be displayed on behalf of a health institution that is respected ?.
I am more relaxed if it is only a local initiative, wrong but perfectly correctable. If the evil has other dimensions, then it is still much more serious.
Thank you Lisandra Gomez Guerra for this article that expresses the feeling, concern and indignation of many who have wondered, baffled, if the program of Nursing Degree where our colleague Victor González graduated should be reviewed, completed or in case this Is optimal, then analyze the suitability of who holding a professional title acting as if it were not. THANKS also to the editorial board of this newspaper for putting objectivity and social justice on the side of reason.
I understand that my words may sound a bit strong and hopefully my opinion is not EXCLUDED (in the middle of this harmful campaign) to face the lack of objectivity and put the finger in the yaga of that old behavior that disguises homophobia with many masks and has made many bleed. THANK YOU!!
I am glad that people are as prepared as you to analyze and that response so admirable, because, without offending anyone, and without ideology trastocada, has said the greatest truth, that in these times there are still people with such reasoning and even worse that there is a leader a little analyst and prepared that he did not give a stop to this stupidity, thanks to the journalist that I hope that comment has not brought consequences as usual in our country.
I imagine that many are very worried about what is written on that poster, and others do not even count, it is not necessary to offend anyone if what is just read is enough to draw some conclusions, what a shame and then they say they know what they are talking about (I.e.
We will denounce it internationally. If I could file a lawsuit with that institution, I would … but we already know that we are unprotected.
By Francisco Rodriguez Cruz [from his blog] June 28, 2017
The closest thing I’ve ever seen of the United States was at a vantage point in Cuba from where we can see –quite far away– the unwanted Guantánamo Naval Base, in the eastern part of our country. I also got a bit close when I visited Canada, many years ago. Well, and from Mexico, not that long ago. That is, from the two bordering nations, although I did not cross the border. But this time I have stepped –technically speaking– on US territory, on my first visit to the Embassy of the world empire, here in Havana.
The motive was noble, though; and the results were positive. I was invited –as one in a small group of ten people whom the Embassy identifies as activists for the rights of the LGBTI community– to participate, this June 28, in a worldwide interactive electronic chat on thr occasion of the Gay Pride Month.
I found it a pleasant surprise that, in times like these, the State Department organized a panel on “Perspectives and voices to face hate crimes”. There were two interesting panelists and a moderator who were in New York and Washington. It may be a good sign that President Trump cannot turn back everything that the American people have already conquered.
Beberly Tillery, executive director of the New York Project against Violence, and Brett Parson, who oversees the Special Links Division of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, responded to questions from activists, officials and other participants who had been invited to the United States embassies in Chile, Canada, Tunisia, Malawi, and Ecuador, among other countries.
To our delight, this exchange –that lasted just over an hour and a quarter– included one of the many questions we had sent from Havana.
On closing, there was a brief summary where there seemed to be consensus on the similarity of many of the episodes of discrimination, violence and homophobic and trans-phobic crimes suffered by LGBTIQ people in the world. This included in the nations that have advanced the most in public policies and specific legislation on the topic.
For this reason, several participants pointed out the importance of maintaining a more fluid exchange of good practices between and within civil society and government institutions like the police.
In particular, I reiterated my old idea that the coincidences between Cuba’s and the United States’ policies in relation to the fight against homophobia and trans-phobia could be one of the means of rapprochement. Of course, with the proviso that the current administration rectifies its current backward standing, and there is an eventual rescue of the process of normalization of relations that President Obama began.
So far, this was a summary of the content of the meeting. Now, I’ll add a little bit of folklore, with my most personal expressions and impressions.
I cannot deny that I was curious to see the place; to nose around the environment of that building so mysterious and emblematic in our history and city. A building that the majority of the Cuban people only see from outside, mostly when we march along the Malecon or rally at the Anti-Imperialist Tribunal to protest against successive US governments.
Therefore, to keep the tradition, I thought it would be OK to take part in the dialogue, but also to make a statement –even more so if this time we were remembering the disturbances of Stonewall: an act of rebellion by definition. And so I found a nice red pullover –special for the occasion– with the phrase #UNBLOCK CUBA. This was an initiative that some compatriots present welcomed.
I must acknowledge the politeness and professionalism of the diplomats who received us: Messrs. Derek Wright, Political Secretary, and Justen A. Thomas, First Secretary with the Press and Culture Office. They courteously ignored my T-shirt. I was left with the concern that –maybe because of it– a group photo was not taken. I had been so looking forward to have them pose by my side!
I was also a bit disappointed, because in that place –where I thought I would enjoy fantastic air conditioning– full of that freedom of expression they keep throwing at us, I was not allowed to bring in my cell phone or my digital camera. And they also made a number of suggestions on what to say or not about this encounter in our blogs and social media network profiles. By the way, I did not understand very well what they said, and for that reason, I may unintentionally fail to comply.
But since I’m a law-abiding person – even if it is US law– I give you my word that I tried to behave as best as possible, even when, at the door, a security guard –apparently not very patient with my awkwardness trying to empty all my pockets– asked me if it was the first time I’d been to the place. I smiled at him and said, “It shows, doesn’t it!”
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive to the daily POR ESTO! of Mérida, Mexico.
Political organizations and religious institutions of all kinds, tones, and colors have tried to legislate about what have been (or are) the most appropriate “carnal relations.”
An investigative work on homosexuality in several countries, by University of New Mexico professor emeritus of sociology, Nelson Valdés, states that the Bolsheviks in Russia criminalized homosexuality for a short time in 1922. But it has been a general rule that both communists, socialists and capitalist parties always avoid defining guidelines on sexual orientation.
Valdés points out that in the United States, the change came just on December 6, 2011, when US foreign policy manifested itself in defense of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender “rights” in some countries of the world. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton then announced a global LGBT policy, although she acknowledged that she was talking about this subject “knowing that my country’s record on human rights for homosexuals is far from adequate.”
Until 2003, it was a crime in the United States to be LGBT. Many homosexuals in the United States suffered violence and harassment. For some – among them many young people – harassment and exclusion continue to be daily realities. “Hence, as in all nations, we have a lot of work to do to protect human rights in our country,” Secretary of State Clinton said in a December 2011 statement.
His new international policy promised to open the borders of the United States to give aid and protection to the LGBT refugees and asylum seekers … as long as they came from those countries of which Washington demands regime change.
Practically, the United States had only added one more pretext for its intrusion into the internal affairs of those countries that defied American power.
Shortly afterward, in the mid-1970s, the media “influenced” by Washington within their own nation and around the world unleashed a great campaign on the alleged discrimination against homosexuals in Cuba.
Simultaneously, a media crusade was initiated to demonstrate that “the roots of homophobia in Cuba were in the revolution of Fidel Castro and the new Cuban communist leadership.” In 2000, the Cuban leader admitted his personal responsibility for not having promptly corrected the phenomenon, derived from the stubborn policies of years before the revolution.
Until 1973 homosexuality was considered a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other related professions throughout the hemisphere shared similar attitudes. Homosexuality was considered until very recently a “deviation” and prohibited in the majority of the states of the United States. For its part, Cuba had inherited a macho culture because of long-standing attitudes, both in Spain and in the African cultures that contribute to its national identity.
However, in the last two decades, says Professor Nelson Valdes, the changes on issues of sexual identity and gender have been extraordinary. The Cuban media has played a systematic and concerted role in the education of the general population. Cinematography has been at the forefront in discussing these issues. In the last 13 years, Cuban television has more explicitly explored issues related to alternative sexual behavior.
The openness to openly gay behavior has not been limited to Havana alone. Homophobia is clearly in decline throughout the island as evidenced by the fact that gay and lesbian candidates are being elected to public office. A well-known foreign observer has pointed out that, in this area, “Cuba is much more liberal than the United States and Europe.”
What remains to be addressed is how it has been possible for a country characterized by such macho tendencies so entrenched in institutions, politicians, and national culture to have changed so much in the relatively short period of half a century and now that homophobia has become the enemy.
Indeed, the mainstream media and political and social leaders in the country have openly attempted to positively influence the population, in which some of the older people have tried to cling to the sexual and gender roles learned before the triumph Of the Cuban revolution.
Valdes highlights as a great achievement that Cubans have overcome the idea that machismo, manhood, and masculinity are the expressions of what defines a revolutionary. But, in my opinion, it is the awareness of the necessity of national unity for the defense of the revolution that has played an essential role in such a transcendental task for the progress of the human condition.
July 6, 2017.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
By Mauricio Vicent
Havana – July 19, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Last New Year’s Eve, Spanish priests Isidro Hoyos, Mariano Arroyo and Eduardo de la Fuente had dinner together in the San Martin de Porres parish, in the workers’ neighborhood of Alamar, east of the Cuban capital. “A simple meal: vegetable soup, some chicken, nougat, and Spanish cider to celebrate”, remembers Isidro. Sharing a dinner on New Year’s Eve, he explains, “had become a tradition… “.
The three priests had been friends for years and the three were in Havana because of their religious vocation, but it was Mariano who put the idea of coming to Cuba in their heads. Mariano Arroyo Merino was the first one to arrive on January 19, 1997. Then Isidro Hoyos, in December 2000. Both were from Cantabria and knew each other since they were young.
Mariano had been a missionary in Chile. For 20 years he lived in that country, always in contact with the poorest [of the people]. Hoyos even became a lawyer for the Workers’ Commissions. He was a worker and a committed priest, for that reason when he arrived in Cuba he found it proper to take charge of the small parish of Alamar, a neighborhood built by the revolution in the ‘70s as the home of the New Man, and therefore without a church.
Eduardo de la Fuente began traveling to the island to substitute for Mariano and Isidro when they left on vacation. He did this for seven or eight years, until in 2006 he decided to stay permanently.
Eduardo, 61 years old, had a mysterious and violent death on February 13. He was found on a highway on the outskirts of Havana, stabbed and strangled. It caused a shock wave in the ecclesiastical world and it especially affected Mariano, who was also murdered later.
Mariano Arroyo was a Philosophy and Theology major from the Comillas Papal University, and a philosophy and literature graduate of the University of Madrid. He was not only a wise man; he was also “a humble, good and venturesome person”, according to those who knew him. “Father Mariano was very dear to us here, nobody had any grudge against him”, said one of the neighbors, who laments his death today in Regla, a neighborhood of Havana.
First, he was a parish priest at the Our Lady of Pilar church in the municipality of Cerro, from which he also assisted the congregation of Alamar. On occasions he made 20 kilometer trips there by bicycle and celebrated mass at people’s homes. In December 2004, Mariano took charge of the parsonage and the parish of the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Regla, on the other side of the Havana bay. He immediately stood out.
Regla is a parish with special characteristics because its Virgin is one of the most worshiped among the Afro-Cuban cults. The Virgin of Regla symbolizes the goddess Yemayá in these cults, ruler of the waters and the sea, the fundamental source of life. Mariano didn’t repudiate these beliefs, but rather he studied them thoroughly and tried to understand them. Many bishops invited him to their dioceses to give lectures on this subject. “Mariano was very learned and very understanding and he was valued more and more in the Cuban Church”, Isidro affirms.
On the dawn of last July 13th, exactly five months after the murder of Eduardo de la Fuente, somebody entered the parochial house where Mariano lived in Regla. Before dawn, a neighbor saw smoke coming out of the priest’s room and called for help. The one who entered to help him found the priest handcuffed, gagged, and with burns in the soles of his feet and hands, hit on the head and knifed.
The crime, or rather, the crimes against two priests in such a short space of time and on the same day of the month February 13 and July 13 , the fact that they were friends and that both were victims of violent attacks, generated numerous rumors. Mainly because in Cuba there is no crime chronicle and news is spread from mouth to ear. Some thought that the two crimes could be connected.
Isidro Hoyos himself admitted, shortly after hearing of Arroyo’s death, that he was afraid. “I am not superstitious, but yesterday was exactly five months after Eduardo’s death, and it seems the procedure is the same: torture, savagery… “.
And, he added, still excited: “The first one, the second… what is behind this? Who are they? What are they looking for? This is something the people in charge of the investigations need to clarify. Are they some kind of mafia? I don’t know “. But, he warned himself: “There are not two, without three.”
The following day in Spain, Agustín Arroyo, brother of the murdered priest, stated that “to steal it is not necessary to kill”. And, he suggested other possible causes: “In Cuba, priests are a nuisance. My brother was very much loved in the community, he had influence over the people and maybe that caused a certain mistrust.”
The Church had to take a stand on this and Cardinal Jaime Ortega himself discarded such arguments last Friday in the homily he gave during the Exequial Mass for Father Mariano Arroyo, denying any “anti-religious or anti-Spanish significance.”
In truth, it was the mystery and the secrecy surrounding the investigation of the first death, that of Eduardo de la Fuente, which fueled speculation. Neither the Church nor Spanish authorities revealed the results of the police investigation, even though they had conclusions, detainees and confessed perpetrators.
If truth be told, Father de la Fuente died at the hands of another man who was his significant other, and to whom the priest had passed himself off as a foreign CEO. This is why, in the Friday homily, the cardinal said that in his case, “the criminals ignored that they had killed a priest”. Police sources informed the Church and the [Spanish] Embassy of what had happened. They also informed them that the perpetrator and his accomplices had been captured and that because it was such a delicate matter they had treated it with the utmost discretion.
Priest Mariano Arroyo’s death was absolutely different. The motive of the crime was robbery, something more and more frequent on the island. The safe that Arroyo had in the house, which apparently had things of little value, was found open. Sources at the Church indicated that the murderer, already in custody, was the guardian of the parish, who acted in complicity with others.
In the homily in memory of Mariano Arroyo, Cardinal Jaime Ortega remembered the priest’s words explaining why he remained in the country: “The Cuban people have a warmth, a sympathy toward the Church and toward the priest in his search for God that, although they don’t know almost anything of religion, shows an interest and an avidity that is enthusiastic”. On Friday, people filled the cathedral of Havana and said goodbye to Mariano Arroyo with tears in their eyes and songs of love.
[At noon yesterday the remains of Arroyo arrived at the Madrid airport. The funeral one will take place this afternoon at Cabezón de la Sal (Cantabria)].
By Francisco Rodriguez Cruz, from his blog
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
Around half a hundred LGBTI activists and workers from the National Center for Sex Education (Cenesex) paraded again together with the Cuban people this May Day in front of the Plaza de la Revolución, in a demonstration that if Our strength is in unity, We also defend Unity in Diversity.
With large and small rainbow banners, signs of Me included – an allegory to the Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia that begins next May 3 -, and t-shirts that identify the communication campaigns of Cenesex, we join together as already Is traditional in the block of Public Health workers.
In the gathering and en route to the Plaza de la Revolucion from early hours of the morning, sympathizers and activists of various nationalities, such as the Homosexual Community of Argentina (CHA), greeted us and conveyed their solidarity.
The networks of trans people and their families (Transcuba) and the Humanity for Diversity (HxD) network stood out for their participation, with the presence of members of the Oremis group, lesbian and bisexual women, among others that integrate community social networks Linked to Cenesex.
When we were ready to cross in front of the Plaza de la Revolucion a few minutes of eight in the morning, my son Javier called me on the cell phone, as I used to do at home on his 17th birthday, this May Day – He used to come with us to the parade-to tell me that he had just passed the platform along with the youth and student block.
Now we can say that the celebration of the Tenth Cuban Conference against Homophobia and Transphobia has began.
by Francisco Rodriguez Cruz, from his blog
A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.
Time passes and people are getting old. Not me, of course. From next week we will be back in the center of the maelstrom of another Cuban Day against Homophobia, the tenth. Amazing.
It seems like it was yesterday when I was filled with astonishment and excitement at the Pabellón Cuba in 2008, and I listened for the first time to other gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transvestite people, speaking in public – and loudly – about what was always hidden before In Cuba: our lives and problems.
I did not dream at the time to have this blog – I was short a little more than a year and a half to its birth – nor could I assume that I would have the opportunity to approach first and be a part of the organizing committee of these celebrations from 2010.
With that experience, so intense that makes it difficult to discriminate between the greater relevance of one fact or another, I propose what will undoubtedly be an incomplete selection of moments or key contributions by each of the previous Cuban Conferences against Homophobia and Transphobia .
I must admit that, at the beginning, I thought of doing so only from my (bad) memory, as well as from a review of the texts I wrote in this blog and the photographs I had kept; But then I realized that was not enough.
Memories are often imprecise. I ran the risk of mixing some events and details from year to year. So I took the trouble to check each event with the reports of the Cuban and foreign press that I kept throughout these ten years.
I should also like to thank Dr. Mariela Castro, director of the National Center for Sex Education, who agreed to review a first version of this chronological summary and made several pertinent suggestions to enrich it.
Although I tried to emphasize the elements of newness or rupture in each annual edition, it is very probable that even in this selection there are issues or nuances that someone might also consider important or central. I invite you to propose and add.
I am sure that we could enrich even more this brief tour for this first decade of the day, based on the experiences that each one keeps.
My humble intention is for everyone to remember and treasure for themselves, their first, most intimate or revealing participation in this endeavor, result of the work, persistence, creativity and daring of so many good people.
We will see each other from 3 to 20 May at the Tenth Cuban Conference against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Here I leave the most recent, almost final version of the program for this year: