[Marxism] Big gay celebration in Cuba

David Thorstad binesi at gvtel.com
Thu Jul 24 12:43:21 MDT 2008

Clearly, it's good that same-sexers can party on a beach in Cuba, and 
far better than being harassed or jailed for "ostentatious" behavior, as 
happened in the 1970s. I read Marcel Hatch's article on the June event 
in Cuba on the Web site he announced. While being allowed to play openly 
as a same-sexer is wonderful, I would voice several caveats to his 
rah-rah pro-Cuban approach:
    1. He refers to "LGBT people." There is no such animal. This subject 
is too big to dead with here, but suffice it to say that this is 
carrying identity politics to the point of absurdity. Nobody identifies 
as such a "person," which is a pc amalgam created in the imperialist 
center as part of a bourgeois effort to create a constituency for the 
capitalist parties.
    2. Marcel refutes the phony story about a gay parade in Havana being 
canceled, but nowhere does he say why the regime has not allowed the 
formation of independent same-sex organizations and publications, and 
why such independent same-sexers did not, in fact, organize their own 
parade independent of government or quasi-governmental entities.
    3. He touts the reforms to the Cuban penal code, but neither he nor 
any other leftist champions of the Cuban regime ever address the actual 
penal code as it presently exists, nor, most particularly, various 
problematic, even draconian, provisions of that code. Instead of Mariela 
Castro's focus on winning state subsidies for sex-change operations, no 
doubt a worthy goal, but one that has nothing to do with homosexuality 
or gay lib, how about arguing in favor of independent gay organizations 
that could struggle for a genuine reform of the antigay aspects of the 
penal code. Here are a few articles that I find problematic, to say the 

article 298: rape: of a woman:  4-10 years in jail
                         of a 12-year-old or if sickness results:  8-20 
years in jail or DEATH

article 299:  "pederastia con violencia" (a vague term. Does it mean 
anal intercourse, "pederasty" [i.e., sex between a man and a male youth? 
How is "violence" defined?]: 7-15 years. This crime includes even 
/consensual/ sex with a 14-year-old:  8-20 years in jail or DEATH

article 303a (creating a "public scandal"): this is defined, vaguely, as 
"importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales," which suggests that 
it means cruising someone (a male, apparently, since the feminine form 
is not used) who takes offense at the approach: 3 months to 1 year in jail

article 310 ("corruption of minors"):  2-5 years in jail for encouraging 
a 16-year-old (!) to "ejercer el homosexualismo o la prostitucion" (to 
practice homosexualism or prostitution). This could easily apply to a 
gay publication and is, again, vague.

Belonging to an unregistered association would bring 1-3 months in jail 
(again, applicable to a free and independent same-sex organization)

I would suggest that supporters of the Cuban regime bear in mind that 
neither Mariela Castro (it seems) nor anyone else in Cuba is proposing 
to reform any of these laws. That would make the apparent liberalization 
that is going on in Cuba at least in part window dressing.
  It is true that laws usually lag behind social attitudes, but keeping 
bad ones on the books (and some of these are bad) means that the 
authorities can hold them over the heads of the population like a sword 
of Damocles.

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