Cuban Americans Outraged by Mariela Castro Visit

Cuban Americans are outraged that the niece of Fidel Castro is visiting the United States to talk about LGBT equality given the history of repression in Cuba.

(via The Advocate)

Mariela Castro

Some prominent Cuban Americans, including LGBT community leaders, object to a visit from Mariela Castro, the niece of Fidel Castro and daughter of President Raul Castro, who is discussing equality during appearances in San Francisco and New York City this week and next.

The Associated Press reports that Castro, the director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, or CENESEX, is on a multi-day trop devoted to talks with LGBT activists and the annual meeting of the Latin American Studies Association. She is one of at least 60 Cuban scholars who were granted visas to attend the conference taking place today.

According to the AP, Castro spoke to about 50 medical professionals and transgender advocates Wednesday at San Francisco General Hospital. She spoke in Spanish through an interpreter.

“If we don’t change our patriarchal and homophobic culture…we cannot advance as a new society, and that’s what we want, the power of emancipation through socialism,” she said, the AP reported. “We will establish relationships on the basis of social justice and social equality…It seems like a Utopia, but we can change it.”

Castro has successfully lobbied her father’s Communist government to cover gender reassignment surgery in the national health plan. She has also advocated, so far unsuccessfully, for marriage equality in the country. However, her platform has not endeared her to some influential Cuban Americans, who cite Cuba’s record of abusing LGBT and repressing individual rights more broadly.

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