Raul Castro's daughter Mariela campaigns for LGBT rights in Cuba

Democracy Now has a rare interview with Mariela Castro the daughter of Raul Castro the Cuban president and Vilma Espin. As well as campaigning for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgendered people Mariela is director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana.

Mariela was recently granted a visa to make a trip to the U.S to attend two conferences and this provided the opportunity for the interview in the Cuban consulate in New York city. Mariela has been urging the U.S. to release five Cubans arrested for spying on violent anti-Cuban militants in return for releasing U.S. citizen Alan Gross who was convicted and sentenced to 15 years for subversion in 2009.

Amy Goodman asked Mariela why she was working for gay, lesbian and transgender rights when she herself is heterosexual, married with three children. Mariela sees herself as carrying on work begun by her mother. When she saw the problems encountered by LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) people she began to sympathize with their problems and became involved.

Mariela thought that Obama coming out in favor of same sex marriage was quite valuable since the U.S. was the most powerful country in the world and his endorsement would have a global impact.

In Cuba Mariela and CENESEX is promoting educational and legislative initiatives to promote LGBT rights. Although Mariela pushed for legalizing same sex marriage in Cuba she noted that there was a great deal of resistance. She is now promoting the legalization of same sex unions with the same rights as married couples. For much more see the full interview.


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