The Time of “The Feathers” / Reinaldo Escobar

54…To confront racial, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation and other prejudices that can give rise to any form of discrimination or to limit the exercise of the rights of persons, among them those who occupy public office, of the masses and in defense of the Fatherland.
Taken from the base document of the First Cuban Communist Party Congress.

I have news that in this last half century they have denied no one the chance to be a member of the Communist Party, an official of the armed forces, or a member of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution for having a certain sex, race, or for being presumed to be homosexual. After the 4th Party Congress in 1991 the opening was extended to those with religious beliefs, such that Point 54 of the Base Document of the First Conference of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) has been edited obviously to permit, as of January 2012, for homosexuals, bisexuals and lesbians to join the PCC, hold responsible positions in government or to be leaders of some organization, without having to undergo the humiliation of hiding their preferences in the closet.

Other unmaskings will occur, as happened after the Fourth Congress with the believers who had disguised themselves as atheists in order to keep their red cards. But this time it will not be the crucifixes or the ikines of the god Orula that will be exposed to view, but the long-suppressed “feathers.” Then we will be able to ask Comrade Secretary General of our nucleus, even the captain of the tank squad, a question about his husband, or to comment to the union official, and also the Sector Chief of the National Revolutionary Police, how well he physically keeps his commitment.

What it does not, yet, get us, is the ability to found new parties, unless the reference to “and other” underlined in the citation from the document alludes to the prejudices and discrimination that we are subject to, those of us who do not share the ideology of the Communists. Perhaps we will no longer see our rights to participate in our own political organizations limited, and we will be able to defend the Fatherland from its true enemies?

2 November 2011