Cuba Suspends Gay Rights Parade on Government Whim

The Gay Rights parade in 2017. Now the Cuban leaders don’t see any reason to permit such a public event.

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban authorities ordered on Tuesday that a gay rights parade traditionally held in central Havana will not take place this year, without giving a clear reason, reported dpa.

“Complying with the guidelines of the Minsap (Ministry of Public Health) the Cuban Conga against Homophobia and Transphobia will not take place this year, because of circumstances which would prevent a successful event,” the national center for sexual education (Cenesex) said in a statement.

Without a clear reason given for unilaterally suspending the annual event, which shows that virtually no independent public activities are allowed on the Island, speculation abounds that the government does not want to offend the conservative Evangelical churches who oppose gay rights in general.

Cenesex is a state-run center is headed by Mariela Castro, daughter of former president Raul Castro, who last year championed the inclusion of same-sex marriage in Cuba’s new constitution. The formulation which would have paved the way for same-sex marriage was removed from the final document after stiff opposition by conservative communists and evangelicals.

“The new tensions on an international and regional level directly and indirectly affect our country and have a tangible and intangible impact on our daily lives and the implementation of politics on the Cuban state,” Cenesex said in trying to justify the decision.

The “Conga against homophobia” has been held in central Havana since 2007 as the main event of a period focused on raising awareness of the rights of the homosexual community in Cuba.

The parade is usually held around May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and is the moment of greater visibility of a group that experienced harassment at the beginning of the Cuban revolution.


2 thoughts on “Cuba Suspends Gay Rights Parade on Government Whim

  • May 8, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    For longs years was blame the regime for opposition to homosexuality…But what happens when regime decide to give equal rights?? OMG all Christians and Catholics start with serious argue about it. So Is funny how they made silent for 59 year for convenience, because they was agree with the government in not provide constitutional right to homosexuals. Now the government was agree to do it, and around the country the main discussion in November 2018 was the Homosexual right…OMG was crazy how people attack that point…Most religious community are upset with the idea and they become noise a lot. Right now is a real, the risk of some confrontation between Christians and homosexuals…So the questions is this…Is the government of Cuba now the enemy of homosexuality?

  • May 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    Mariela is obviously concerned that following the rejection of same-sex marriage, her long term ambitions may be jeopardized. In consequence she is reducing her profile. Pursuit of gay rights and the formation of Cenesex raised her public profile, but no doubt father Raul having included gay rights in his original constitution, only to have them rejected by the Stalinist hard core, has advised her to cool it for awhile. Whether Mariela will in the future resurrect her current cause or adopt a different one, remains to be seen. She is however her father’s daughter and she, brother Alejandro and husband Luis, have to keep their powder dry for the potential political battle between themselves and the Diaz-Canel, Bruno Rodriguez and Marino Murillo troika following Raul’s demise.

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