Cuban first daughter and Fidel’s niece Mariela Castro rounded out her visit to San Francisco with an open forum at the LGBT Center on Wednesday night. Though heterosexual, Castro is the most prominent Cuban queer rights activist and head of the National Center for Sex Education, the only government-recognized advocacy group for sexual minorities in Cuba.
When asked about Obama’s recent support of same-sex marriage, Castro said it seemed genuine.
“Sometimes same-sex marriage is used during elections to get votes,” Castro spoke in Spanish with a translator sitting to her right, “I think Obama is sincere and speaks from the heart on this issue. If I were a U.S. citizen, I would vote for President Obama.”
Her endorsement brought cheers from the audience. Castro went on to explain that her father, President Raul Castro, had been a long time supporter of same-sex marriage but that he hadn’t made it public because he was working on an internal strategy for social change in Cuba.
Mitt Romney, who had been originally outraged over the granting of a travel visa to the “daughter of a dictator,” quickly condemned the endorsement.
Castro’s visit to America has sparked debate as to whether she’s a genuine agent for gay rights or just daddy’s mouthpiece but her event in San Francisco did little to calm suspicions.
The forum, which was made possible by the Rainbow World Fund, began with the screening of a Cuban propaganda video showcasing drag queens putting on makeup, lesbians dancing together and Castro leading a gay-rights “promenade.” (A march requires a police permit)
Castro’s entrance at the LGBT Center’s Rainbow Room was delayed due to a member in the audience, most likely a Cuban ex-pat, shouting in Spanish, “down with the Castro family!” He was brusquely escorted by security and Castro and her security detail took the stage.
Of Pride celebrations, Castro said they had become too commercialized and patriarchal — revolving around mainly only gay men. She prefers for Cubans to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, which she’s spearheaded since 2007. Now, according to Castro, the entire month of May is dedicated to LGBT equality and celebration with a film festival currently underway.
So the daughter of a communist dictator endorses a communist dic-You know what, no. No. I’m not gonna take that one. It’s just too easy.
If I wanted foreigners telling me who to vote for, I’d listen to Cenk Uygur. Or Arianna Huffington. Or Rupert Murdoch.
@JayKay: I’m glad knuckle-draggers such as you and me recognize Obama for the communist that he is. Nevermind that he hasn’t raised taxes once, we RepubliKlans know what we’re talking about. Keep making the white race proud, my brother.
This bitch needs to be taken down. Why is she even allowed on American soil? They all have blood on their hands!!! I’m sure Obama is cussing under his breath over this shit! No doubt Romney will be using this in an ad…
You can use the Wisconsin election on June 5th as a preview of November and both camps know it. Fortunately InTrade has 90 percent odds of Walker remaining in office. Bye bye Obama bye bye.
“I would vote for President Obama”
“President Raul Castro”
Re No. 4 · pedro, “Why is she even allowed on American soil?”
Because Americans have a right to hear competing points of view. Letting her visit is certainly an improvement over the Reagan regime, where Hortensia Bussi de Allende, the widow of assassinated Chilean president Salvador Allende, was denied entry into the U.S.
Citation: http://articles.latimes.com/keyword/hortensia-bussi-de-allende .
You don’t have to be a Marxist or communist or agree with her to want to listen to her, particularly in a setting where there is a Q/A session – seeing how someone reacts to non-scripted questions can give you some insight into their real attitudes that you won’t get in reading carefully edited statements made for public consumption.
The U.S. has a foreign policy, set up on the behalf of U.S. citizens. Getting some idea of how things really work in some other country can help us determine if the government is doing a good job on our behalf. How well the government is doing is certainly cogent information in determining how one votes.
@pedro: Mariela Castro has actually done a great deal for LGBT rights in Cuba. Go ahead and hate on her for whom she’s related to, and the government of her homeland. But what exactly have you done for human rights in your country (besides, of course, leaving barely literate comments on gay blogs like Queerty)?
If I had to guess, I would say this trip is the continuation of re-opening relations between the US and Cuba, a process started by Obama when he eased travel restrictions at the beginning of his term. This can ONLY be good, both for the US and for the people of Cuba.
The comments above are obviously written by the fascist Cuban mafia in Miami who are hate mongers and have no interest in a resolution to the embargo, which is the most ineffective foreign policy. Maybe if we opened the gates and let products, services and people flow, the Castro’s would lose their bully pulpit and have no one to hate anymore. The Elian Gonzalez affair created by mean spirited Miami Cubans helped Castro. The people were going through the post-Soviet economic depression and had pent up hate for Castro’s and his government, but this debacle only allowed him to yell “they are stealing out children again” and he whipped them up to rally around him. These hateful remarks are obviously coming from the right wingers and are not helpful. Whether or not Mariel is sincere is not for you to judge. I suspect she is because everyone knows that Raul is gay. But, while 11 million people suffer in Cuba without medicines and access to goods,services remember its Miami power against Castro and over 11 million people are caught in the middle. I was there many times doing research and the Cuban people are wonderful and things are very bad right now and Cuba is broke if not for Venezuela. But once China and Norway start bringing up the oil in the Cuban seabed watch how fast politicians here will be singing a different tune. So – anyone reading do not believe the crazy notes above this one. These people are saboteurs and I agree with Pedro and bccapbe above- the other stuff is planted by people not like us. People who vote for evil men like Sen Rubio.
No. 10 · Jim S wrote, “So – anyone reading do not believe the crazy notes above this one.”
Perhaps you’d care to indicate exactly which comments you think are crazy. There are only 9 above yours.
I’m curious if you object to mine, which simply suggested that American citizens might want to listen to Mariela Castro if only to see how she responds to unanticipated questions, where she might inadvertently provide some indication of what is going on behind the scenes.
I recall hearing about one incident that occurred decades ago where a USSR representative agreed to give a talk to some left-wing college students. He thought it would be a piece of cake even though warned and blithely spouted the communist party line. The response he got from one of the students was something like, “The problem with you is that you’ve lost your revolutionary fervor.” It must have been hilarious – well worth the price of admission!
I like her and I like her message, but I think this accidentally torpedoed Obama’s campaign even more. Whoopsie-Daisy. 😛
LMAO at all the American crazies who think “marxism,” “communism,” and Obama’s special brand of conservatism are anywhere close to the same thing. Many countries all around the world make socialism work and provide things like welfare and healthcare and good public education. If you want your country to continue to circle the drain, then fine, have a knee-jerk reaction to someone with the last name Castro saying positive things. But if you want to fix it, you might have to educate yourselves.
Americans have such a bizarre hatred for cuba. In canada its a tropical tourist destination that hundreds of thousands visit every year. Cuban missile crisis was a lonng time ago… get over it.
@jj: You forgot the best part about Cuba for a Canadian tourist: no Americans!
@Jim S: “fascist Cuban mafia in Miami”
You should get out more. I grew up in Florida and the cubans I know are some of the nicest, most helpful people you’ll ever meet.
Mariela’s publicity stunt campaign is part of the new pinkwashing of the hard Left. The people who oppressed gays for decades are painting themselves as gay-friendly. Mariela Castro is insulting the very homosexuals who escaped from Cuba’s oppression when she calls them a “cuban mafia”.
@Kev C: Um, actually you’re wrong. Mariela Castro has been fighting the good fight for LGBT Cubans for over a decade now, down in the trenches, without seeking any publicity. You’re hearing about her now because a gay U.S. blog is writing about it, so it’s filtered into your fragile demimonde. Yes, communist Cuba has a history of oppressing gays (what, the U.S. doesn’t?) But Mariela is in large part responsible for a major attitude shift there. And while I doubt very seriously she cares what you think of her (particularly since you haven’t bothered to learn anything about her before hating on her), she could quite reasonably make the case that the U.S./Cuba embargo is responsible for far more misery in the lives every day Cubans than her uncle’s regime ever was. Feel that, ignoramus.
@WAM: It’s actually a story on news networks and not just gay blogs. And yes, she’s calling US Cubans as Cuban Mafia. Her nationalist instincts override her care about gays. Why do Cubans think Cuban-Americans control US policy towards Cuba? Does she think bashing Miami Cubans is going to change US policy? Does she think endorsing Obama will?
Hey Mariela .. gtfo
No. 17 · Kev C wrote, “Her nationalist instincts override her care about gays. Why do Cubans think Cuban-Americans control US policy towards Cuba?”
Because a single-issue minority (which applies to some Cuban-Americans, but certainly not all) can have an influence disproportionate to their numbers in a presidential election if they are located in a “swing” state.
@Kev C: I think the venom in your response reveals you for what you are. You hate Cuba. No reasonable discourse allowed. Nice to meet you. Next.
@B: You’re probably right. I doubt lifting the embargo is going to change anything. Cubans are restricted from traveling abroad. They are jailed if they criticize their government. And repression is increasing in Cuba, not because of Raul’s control, but because of his lack of control. When Fidel Castro dies, the military and police will probably overthrow Raul’s government and install a new leader. Mariela shouldn’t insult Cuban exiles .. because she’s likely to be one in the near future.
All the love for the Castro regime in Cuba is grotesque. It remains a unitary dictatorship with no free expression. Anybody going to Cuba and criticizing its government in a local event would face, at the very worst, a revoking of his visa.
If a Cuban citizen, he would be arrested and sent to prison to be tortured and “re-educated.” He also could see his family punished — evicted from housing or even worse.
The fact that one of the most privileged doyennes of the regime is pretty and elegant doesn’t change those ugly facts. The willingness of most Europeans and Canadians to ignore the ongoing violations of human rights in that country belies their hollow rhetoric about democracy and human rights — and we can see further evidence of that lack of belief in Canada’s autocratic anti-protest laws in Quebec, and Europe’s efforts to force austerity and ignore democratic votes that go against the will of the EU’s eurocrats.
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