Mariela Castro to speak at Pride

Campaign News | Thursday, 2 July 2009

Dr Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, will be speaking at major LGBT events in July.

Dr Castro, who arrives in the UK next week, will be one of the speakers addressing crowds in Trafalgar Square following London’s LGBT Pride Parade on Saturday 4 July.

Mariela, who is a leading LGBT activist in Cuba and Director of the Cuban National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX), will also address delegates at the TUC’s LGBT Conference at Congress House on Thursday 2 July.

CENESEX promotes equalities and LGBT rights and runs diversity projects to educate and challenge prejudices within Cuban society. Mariela describes CENESEX’s goal as being to contribute to “the development of a culture of sexuality that is full, pleasurable and responsible, as well as to promote the full exercise of sexual rights.”

Speaking at events with Mariela Castro will be Dr Alberto Roque, a gay activist and one of the organisers of Cuba’s first International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) marches in Havana this May. Both will also take part in a Q&A session before a screening of Strawberry and Chocolate (Fresa y Chocolate - the first Cuban film to feature a gay character and address issues of homophobia in Cuba) at the Barbican on Saturday evening.

Dr Alberto Roque will also be speaking at a public meeting in the House of Commons alongside Dr Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che Guevara on Tuesday 30 June, as well as the Cuba50 weekend Festival at the Barbican on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June.

“We are delighted that Dr Castro and Dr Roque will be taking part in Pride celebrations and the TUC LGBT Conference in July. It provides a fantastic opportunity not only to dispel much of the misinformation that exists in the UK about Cuba’s policy and attitudes towards the LGBT community, but also to hear about the work being done within the island to challenge prejudices in society,” said Cuba Solidarity Campaign Director Rob Miller.

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