We Are a Community With Our Own Voice / Ignacio Estrada

Havana, Cuba. For years Mariela Castro Espín Has tried to take credit for numerous  efforts on behalf of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community in Cuba. Forgetting that this community has its Own Voice.

These uncertain efforts have won her international awards and recognition, before she has even achieved what is now her most ambitious project. Which is to declare to those who do not know the Cuban issue, that the project authored by Mariela had been initiated by her late mother Vilma Espin.

The constant appearance of Castro Espín before the national and international media are not showing, much less is giving voice to, the (LGBT) Cuban community. On the contrary, they are only providing an opportunity for the voice of the daughter of current Cuban President, Raul Castro Ruz, enthroned in an ill-fated Revolution that has only managed to put the community that she pretends to lead at a disadvantage.

Despite the uncertain official efforts, and the institutionalized homophobia on the island and preached for over fifty years by those who believe in the formation of the New Man, the reality that is felt today is different; the ability to feel the dissatisfaction of this community before the failed promises and to the constant violation of our rights.

Already more than five projects of Cuban civil society working in the LGBT area independently and those who do not join official institutions. Among those worth mentioning are the Cuban Observatory for LGBT Rights, the Cuban LGBT Platform, the Chui Tuix Community Integration Project, Rainbow Project, Open Doors Foundation, the Cuban League Against AIDS among others.

These new citizen initiatives organize other days in favor of the fight against homophobia; lead from different points of view projects focused on the education of their peers in their most basic rights and the defense of those rights; and in turn they are not supporters of the existing government speech so far.

Despite the constant negatives for the legalization of these initiatives by the Cuban Ministry of Justice, the work continues and its leaders haven’t accomplished any legalization in any Cuban institution. For which they are labeled as mercenaries or paid by the empire, which is easy to disprove with more than conclusive evidence.

Mariela Castro is not a recognized voice, much less the voice of our constantly growing community. They accept feeling manipulated by the official campaigns that do not intend to vindicate the LGBT rights.

New publications circulating in the Cuban streets, free of political contamination, which highlight the work for various projects in support of the urgent need to claim each of the usurped rights of the Cuban LGBT community. These initiatives of these publications flourish at the time when they are trying to show the world that in Cuba if there is a Community with its Own Voice and there is no need for intermediaries or spokespeople who are committed to the guilt of those who, in 1959, tied us to the lie and even now are trying to force us to force us to live with it.

By Ignacio Estrada

20 May 2013