Mariela Castro’s Disrespect in New York / Cubanet, Jorge Angel Perez
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.
Source: Mariela Castro’s Disrespect in New York / Cubanet, Jorge Angel
Perez – Translating Cuba –