Cuban LGBTI take their demands to the Attorney General

Isbel Díaz Torres

HAVANA TIMES – In the name of the Rainbow Project (Proyecto Arcoíris), I delivered a letter last Thursday to the Cuban Attorney General’s Office. The letter is a denunciation of violations committed by the “Style and Contents Commission” of the National People’s Power Assembly who were responsible for the final draft of the Labor Code.

This Commission, directed by José Luis Toledo Santander, president of the Parliament’s Commission for Constitutional and Judicial Issues, failed to fulfill the mandate they received in December of 2013; their draft completely disregarded the proposals of the LGBT workers, several deputies and even those of President Raul Castro, First Vice-President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and those of the President of the National Assembly, Esteban Lazo.

The Commission was supposed to have “harmoniously” integrated into the final text the concept that gender identity and negative or positive HIV status comprise totally inadmissible motives for discrimination against any human being in the realm of employment or workplaces, as part of the fundamental principles that compose the right to work in Article 2, Subsection B of the Code.

Towards that end, the DA’s office was urged to investigate fully the violations and arbitrary actions of the said Commission, as well as those of all the institutions and persons involved in the final draft of the Labor Law.

The grievance was made public this past July 26th in a declaration of the LGBT collective entitled “LGBTI community of Cuba in national rebellion.” The declaration concludes:

“As citizens of this country and also in our role as activists for human and sexual rights who defend the idea of an anti-capitalist, revolutionary and democratic society, we demand that exemplary measures be taken and that all existing judicial procedures be exhausted with an eye to submitting once again to the vote of Parliament a measure incorporating non-discrimination for gender identity or for having a positive or negative HIV/AIDS status into the Labor Code.

The letter was delivered to the seat of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic, located at the corner of 1st and 18th St. in the Playa district in the afternoon of this past Thursday. The State office legally has 60 days to present a written response.


Isbel Diaz

Isbel Diaz Torres: Pinar del Rio and Havana are my cities. I was born in one on March 1, 1976, and I’ve always lived in the other. I am a biologist and poet, though at times I’ve also been a musician, translator, teacher, computer geek, designer, photographer and editor. I’m very non-conformist and a defender of differences – perhaps due to always having been an ever-repressed “model child.” Nothing enthralls me more than the unknown, nature and art; these serve as my sources of mystery and development. A surprising activism has been born in me over the recent period. Though I’m not very sure how to channel it, I feel that it’s a worthy and legitimate energy. Let’s hope I have the discernment to manage it.

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