Cubanet, Jorge Ángel Pérez, Havana, 1 December 2016 — A cable from the Cuban press agency Prensa Latina, written by Waldo Mendiluza, warned me that the sexologist, parliamentarian, and daughter of Raul Castro, was in New York.
According to the cable, the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) spoke to the United nations about the social justice that distinguished the Revolution that triumphed in 1959, and also the way in which this “generous politician” was dealing with the rights of Cuba’s LGBTI community.
According to the cable, Mariela praised the transformations on the island, at all levels, during the nearly six decades of the “Revolution” in power, and added that these developments contributed to the Cuban population being much more open to an understanding of social justice, facilitating this kind of work against homophobia and other prejudices.
The assertion that “this scenario means that, even when there are problems, they are not expressed through violence, with exceptions, as happens in other countries with major advances in legislation in the matter of the rights of the LGBTI community,” is odd.
And the oddity is that again, this official discourse is more interested in defending things, that is the “Revolution,” rather than persons, when it should be the exact opposition, and it seems disrespectful to me. No object deserves more respect than a person.
As we have known for a long time, respect is one of man’s greatest virtues. No wonder Zeus sent his son Hermes to teach men respect and justice, and this is what the homosexual community in Cuba most needs: respect and justice.
It is thoughtless to say that violence against homosexuals is less in Cuba than in the rest of the world. To forget that homosexuals have suffered from violence is thoughtless. To forget that homosexuals have been been victims of institutional homophobia is thoughtless. It is impolitic not to recognize that the “Revolution” did not care for the integrity and dignity of lesbians, gays and transexuals. We need to talk about this every day and name those responsible.
It is insolent to once again try to care for institutions, things, instead of protecting those men and women who prefer, each one of those days, those like themselves. Nothing can advance if praising the “goodness” of a “revolution” marginalizes homosexuals.
It is counterproductive to defend the politics of a revolution that created concentration camps for homosexuals, that expelled them from the universities, and called them “deviant.” It is odd that the voice singing of this “policy of vindication” is a heterosexual woman who doesn’t know the suffering of those she “represents” and “defends.”
In Cuba there is violence against homosexuals and to deny it is embarrassing. In this country they continue to be repressed, and hate crimes are not solved. In Cuba, the moral judgment of its institutions remains opposed to freedom. I, for one, have not seen the documentary “Mariela Castro’s March: Cuba LGBTI,” which was presented at the United Nations on 17 November in the presence of the director of CENESEX, and broadcast on HBO on 28 November.
It would be fair to put it on Cuban television in primetime. It was presented at the last Festival of New Latin American Cinema, albeit with some discretion, and could not be expected to act otherwise if the testimonies of some homosexuals who were offended by the homophobic policies of the “Cuban revolution” appear on the tape.
That is not, apparently, the fate of “Santa and Andres,” a film whose main subject, according to its director, is “freedom, freedom, freedom”; that’s disrespectful, as is the fact that Mariela Castro will use her visit to New York to do some shopping.
That day a friend wrote telling me he had seen her at The Home Depot where apparently she was trying to buy lightbulbs, I guess to light her home. And I wonder if she decided to buy the same energy saving bulbs I am forced to buy.
Mariella Castro buys lightbulbs in Manhattan, despite the fact that in an interview on Cuban television conducted by the journalist Cristina Escobar, she assured the viewers that her salary doesn’t last her to the end of the month.