Where's Mariela When You Need Her?

Sunday, July 19, 2009
Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban dictator Raul Castro and head of Cuba's National Sexual Education Center (CENESEX), has been profiled throughout the world for her advocacy in favor of recognition for Cuba's highly-repressed gay and transgender population.

However, it seems that such advocacy only takes place when it involves a press conference with the international media, or a staged public relations event, as repression against Cuba's gay community maintains its brutal pace.

According to Mexico's Enewspaper, Cuban state security raided a HIV-AIDS prevention workshop last week and arrested 19 young homosexuals in attendance. The workshop's materials, which included condoms, educational pamphlets and HIV tests had been partly sponsored by the U.N. AIDS Global Fund.

The Reinaldo Arenas Foundation for Lesbians, Gays, Transgender and Bisexuals (LGTB), an opposition group considered "illegal" by the Cuban authorities, has filed a complaint with the Ministry of Public Health, condemning the arrest of the 19 participants and the deportation of 8 other young homosexuals to cities in the island's countryside.

The Arenas Foundation also demands that the Ministry of Public Health allows for the repetition of the disrupted HIV tests and calls for an end to the harassment, beatings and torture by the Cuban authorities of Havana's gay community.

Mariela must be on one of her frequent European vacations.