‘Sierra Maestra’ Newspaper Withdraws an Article Criticized by Cuba’s LGTB Community

A screen capture of the page that referred to the article now shows an error code. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 31 August 2020 — On Monday, the Sierra Maestra newspaper withdrew from its website a news item that included the new measures taken by the Government of Santiago de Cuba to “increase control and discipline in the lines” and that had led to multiple protests from the LGTB community.

The article, published this weekend, read: “Establish three days of the week in which in the units that sell basic necessities would allow only women to buy (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and three days in which only men would have access (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), reserving the seventh day (Sunday) for the care of the most vulnerable segments such as pregnant women, people with special conditions such as the blind, deaf, limited physical motor, among others, upon presentation of the document that identifies the person and gives the evidence of his condition.”

The young Mel Herrara, an activist of the LGBT community, expressed on her Twitter account that “this measure of ’gender pick’ in Cuba may further complicate inequalities” and increase “discrimination and transphobia due to gender identity towards trans people and other non-binary identities.”

“I suggest evaluating the measure and analyzing the situation faced by the trans population in some countries of the region where the measure was also implemented, as well as other problems associated with it. For a less binary and more inclusive country!” Herrera added.

On Sunday, Cenesex expressed  on social networks its knowledge of the new measures and assured: “We have spoken with @Gob_StgoDeCuba to offer elements of analysis regarding the need to take trans people into account during their implementation.”

Members of the 11M platform, which takes its name from the independent march of March 11, 2019, also expressed their concern “at the recent announcement” because in their opinion that it “could lacerate a part of the population.”

“We consider that gender segregation (male-female) to carry out purchases and other procedures is a violent measure for non-binary gender identities; at the same time that it can increase discrimination due to transphobia towards transgender people,” they detailed in a thread they posted on their Twitter account.

Faced with the reaction of Cenesex, the activists warned that they would be attentive to the development of events to ensure that the rights of the community they represent are fulfilled. In addition, they recommended that for future implementation of measures of this type “counseling with specialists on gender issues and sexual dissidence, as well as other areas of incidence, be used.”


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