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Thursday, 23 May 2019 02:09

Despite the ban, Cuban LGBT activists marched through the streets of Havana

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cuba gay pride Stringer Reuters


After the Government of Cuba decided to cancel the Pride parade, the LGBT activists were nevertheless keen to march in the streets of Havana before being dispersed by the police.

A few weeks ago, the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) announced that this year the parade could not take place because of international and regional tensions without giving more details about the reasons for this cancellation.

The CENESEX is headed by the State, and in particular by Mariela Castro, the daughter of Communist Party leader Raul Castro, and has piloted all advances in LGBT rights in Cuba in recent years.

Cuba was the first country in the Caribbean to make major advances in LGBT rights. Some of the other Caribbean countries still criminalize same-sex relationships.

Until 2011, the year of the first Pride March, the parades authorized were events expressing support for the government.

The Pride has become the exception to the rule, but the organizers are obliged to go through the CENESEX if they want to organize events.

Regarding the reasons for banning the Pride March this year, as Reuters explains, some activists speculated that the government canceled the conga [the Pride March] because it did not want to allow a public forum that could be diverted to criticize it at a moment when it was facing rising political hostility from the Trump administration.

Others believe that this follows the Government's proposal last year to amend the Constitution to open marriage to same-sex couples.

In a second statement, the CENESEX indicated that some outside groups wanted to use the March as a "weapon" against the Communist Party and that some people might disturb the parade. Of course, the Government did not provide any evidence of these allegations.

In fact, all of this refers to relations between Cuba and the United States that are deteriorating. The left-wing Government would be afraid of the rise of the right-wing funded by the US Government. The United States is giving millions of dollars to groups who oppose the Cuban Government and finance the Methodist Church.

Last year, after the Government said it wanted to open marriage to same-sex couples, the Evangelical churches of Cuba united for the first time in a campaign against the legislation.

By allowing the Pride March to happen, it gives an opportunity to the right-wing to talk about it by opposing the event. As a matter of fact, the Government prefers not to talk about LGBT rights anymore, which prevents Cubans from getting interested in this opposition.

“It looks like they have given in to pressures from religious extremists,” gay ecologist Isbel Díaz Torres told The Guardian. “Cancelling the event is a way of avoiding confrontation but in the end, it just makes the situation more complicated.”

Despite the bans, however, LGBT activists decided to organize a Pride March on Saturday, 11 May, and more than a hundred people gathered to parade through the streets of Havana before being dispersed by the police and State security officers.


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.