Havana Cuba 16 February 2012. Report of the Cuban League Against AIDS
about Human Rights Violations in Cuba Against the LGBT Community / Wendy
Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada
Translator: Unstated, Wendy Iriepa and Ignacio Estrada
Five decades have passed since that fateful triumph featuring people
dressed in garments of olive green, who descended from the mountain
proclaiming a society of equality for all men without distinction of
race, creed, political or sexual orientation.
Not many years had passed when they begin to devise on the island the
first exclusions from workplaces, educational and government
institutions, of those Cubans whose sexual conduct was characterized by
the nascent government as shameful and as a practice that tarnished the
morals of the Cuban socialist nation.
Our forebears spent years in confinement, forced labor camps, facing
acts of repudiation, and in many of the cases were stoned and forced
into exile. Separating them from family and friends. Cuban history
includes the anecdotes and suffering of Reinaldo Arenas, Virgilio P,
Lezama and those who even their names remain in oblivion, or whose
bodies lie in the waters of the Straits of Florida or along the Cuban
Fifty years later, history repeats itself and violations of the respect
for human rights continues in Cuba and have again targeted the Cuban
LGBT community. The same ruler act as if they have changed the practice
of such violations, but when they come for analysis the situation facing
this community in Cuba is the same.
The lack of spaces, of freedom of expression, freedom of association,
free movement and the right to establish a relationship or marry in
equality of rights, the right to decide the opportune moment to make
your family aware of your sexual orientation, all these are some of the
constant violations facing the LGBT Community in Cuba.
Meanwhile, State institutions like the National Center for Sex Education
(CENESEX) directed by Mariela Castro Espin, daughter of the current
president of the nation, proclaim to the world uncertain openings that
guarantee the full respect of the human rights of the LGBT community,
the reality of the Island is otherwise, which they don't hesitate to
silence out of fear of losing the great sums of money given for phantom
projects that respond only to the interest of the Cuban State and not to
those of the LGBT community in Cuba.
On the island there are daily reports of the arrests of LGBT people
accompanied by heavy fines, deportations, in the case of homosexuals,
from the capital Havana, extortion or blackmail by the police or law
enforcement officers to purchase their own benefit at the suffering of
those who fall into their hands. Beatings, arrests, instant and
arbitrary searches in public places occur.
During year 2010 there is evidence of layoffs due to sexual orientation,
layoffs of members of this community not following the current
government's political thought or simply for maintaining a friendship
with someone who was an activist for the LGBT rights.
The violence resulted in the deaths from assaults of six homosexual in
unknown conditions. We denounced the death of a young transvestite in a
police cell from negligence and inattention. The dismissal from her work
of a transsexual woman, Wendy Iriepa Diez for wanting to unite in
marriage to a human rights activist. The arrest of homosexuals in public
places, the ongoing siege for alleged homosexual tourism among others.
We continue to denounce the abuse of prison sentences between two and
four years imprisonment or forced labor to those homosexuals who wander
at night through the streets of Cuba, those who ingest alcohol and even
those who are maintained by their families and do not choose to work
with the Cuban state.
Cuba is a country where, according to the authorities, Cuban citizens
are not prepared to face changes such as marriage between people of the
same gender, or adoption or cohabitation. Meanwhile we Cubans ask the
leader of these explanations where are your criteria, if when we walk in
the street people smile at us and on occasion congratulate us for our
sexual orientation, if not for our great humanism.
The truly guilty with regards to the constant violations of the rights
of the Cuban LGBT Community face are the State and it institutions,
armies of homophobics and discriminators. There is, in our nation, no
power or persons more exclusionary than our leaders.
The growth of male prostitution, in the community of men having sex with
other men, shows at this time in the large number of infections by
HIV/AIDS in the history of the illness in Cuba, 8 or every 10 people
with HIV are men.
Despite the totalitarianism, despite the iron hand of the power of the
State, the Cuban LGBT Community today is rising from the ashes like a
phoenix showing its beautiful plumage which, on this occasion, has the
colors of our unequaled flag demanding and recovering all the spaces
usurped by the power and the lies.
February 20 2012