Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fidel Castro Announces Resignation

This blogger was almost certainly among millions of people in this country and around the world who attentively listened to reports yesterday that analyzed the potential impact Cuban President Fidel Castro's resignation would have on the Communist island. Few seem to question the dire economical situation of the Cuban people and the geo-political struggle between the United States and the Castro regime since shortly after he took power in 1959. The question of how his resignation will impact LGBT Cubans is part of the broader questions that remain.

The country's culture minister, Abel Prieto, recently expressed his support for legal recognition of same-sex couples while Castro's niece, Centro Nacional de Educacion Sexual (CENESEX) director Mariela Castro Espin, has expressed support for LGBT rights, including government-funded sex-reassignment surgeries and hormones, for transgender Cubans, over the last three years. These are important steps to correct serious human rights abuses the Castro regime had committed against gay men, people with AIDS and others, but the question remains as to whether a change in the Cuban government will produce tangible reforms that are more than arguably long overdue. Time will tell.

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