Francisco Rodríguez Cruz

Francisco Rodríguez Cruz

ILGA manager affirms Cuba is taking clear steps towards the protection of LGBTI rights

It seems I will finally meet in person my virtual friend Gloria Careaga, renowned psychologist, academician and activist of LGBTI, who works as general co-secretary of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) on the occasion of the Sixth Regional Conference of that organization for Latin America and the Caribbean. Form May 6 through 10, Cuba will welcome specialists and international LGBTI activists from the Latin American continent to debate and exchange experiences on the struggle against any kind of discrimination and exclusion due to sexual orientation and gender identity, at the Plaza America Convention Center in Varadero, in the western province of Matanzas. Cuban activists from different groups and networks from all sexual orientations and gender identities are getting ready for the event, which is organized by the National Sexual Education Center (Cenesex by its acronym in Spanish), in coordination with other national institutions and organizations. I particular, I would like to thank my colleagues from the group Humankind for Diversity (HxD), which is part of Cenesex’ social community networks, for choosing me as delegate to such important meeting. For those interested in joining the conference –ILGA is an open organization and anyone who wants to join the conference...

U.S. Attorneys praised Cuban labor law to protect LGBT community

A delegation of the National Lawyers Guild of America (NLG) that will visit Cuba next March wants details on the new Labour Code, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in our country. In a letter to which I had access, the chairman of the Labor Committee of the NLG, Dean Hubbard, requested a meeting with experts from the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) to "discuss the rapidly changing social norms regarding Cuban gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender. " The expert, who will travel to the island march 8 through the 16 with a group of 10 to 15 labor lawyers and union leaders expressed interest in knowing " if this change is affecting LGBT Cubans in their work , especially in the light of recent national legislation prohibiting employment discrimination " against them . "Legislation-he emphasized in brackets-we have not yet reached nationally in the United States." In this its 15th consecutive annual delegation, members of the NLG also expected to participate in exchanges with the National Union of Jurists and the Cuban Worker’s Federation, and attend the International Conference on the Protection of Labour and Social Security Havana. "As in previous years, he...

Clause against discrimination based on sexual orientation included in the draft Labour Code

The inclusion among the fundamental principles governing the right to work in Cuba of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation is one of the changes made ​​to the bill of the Labour Code that the Parliament discusses this Friday. As we proposed last August, the addition in Section 2 of this legislative proposal, which is now defined in subsection b the principle of "equal work" with the following statement, prospered: "Any citizen able to work has the right to obtain employment in response to the demands of the economy and the election, both in the state and non-state sector, without regard to skin color, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation,   territorial origin and any other offensive distinction against human dignity ". It also stands out the correct adoption of the term "gender" instead of the restrictive word "sex" that was in the draft and the suppression of “race” as other activists asked to leave the target "skin color". As a kick in the same statement, however, stands the elimination of "political opinion" among the elements which is not acceptable to discriminate on the job, something that itself was in the original and now will stay unfortunately only implicit. Cuban lawmakers and politicians...

Five daily reports of crimes against children is not a small figure

The relativity of the figures and their public presentation should not lead us to downplay troubling and harmful social phenomena. Such is the case of the interesting information that the Cuba Interior Ministry just offered about the low incidence of crimes of violence and sexual abuse against children and adolescents. According to information released this Tuesday by Prensa Latina news agency, during 2012 there were reported in the country 2,117 complaints of crimes against children and adolescents , which gives an incidence of 0.09 % related to a population of 2,260,751 people up to 16 years of age . The data Colonel Idaís Borges, head of the Directorate of Children’s Ministry of the Interior (MININT), offered, could confirm that, indeed, such crimes do not constitute a social problem in Cuba. But be careful! A simple arithmetic division gives us an average of 5.8 complaints from this scourge. So, every day there are at least five children involved in alleged acts of abuse that come to the hands of justice. And anyway, this is a kind of problem in which a single case, for us, should be one too many. And even if we could agree with " that, as the...

Multiplying for 25 is not the solution

I can not keep myself from criticizing the official note in which the Cuban Government has just announced the so-long-waited decision to initiate the process of a single currency in the country, and from giving a suggestion to put out doubts and comments this information has arose in part of the population. Those of us who try to keep informed on the ups and downs of the Cuban economy and on the complexities of dual currencies can perfectly understand the logical order of the note on the need to start implementing the main changes in the sector of legal entities. It is the variation of the current exchange rate of business transactions in general –the famous 1x1, where one Cuban peso (CUP) equals one convertible peso (CUC), and where one CUC equals one USD– which, as a last resort, will have a saying in this gradual readjustment, which will have to establish the real equivalence between the CUP and the international foreign currencies. Unfortunately, the rightful and tangible step that is now informed in two of the last three paragraphs of the note is that stores selling in CUC will offer the possibility to pay in CUP through swipe cards...

Trafficking and sexual abuse in Cuba: No comfortable rest on laurels

Several pimps that forced prostitutes to give them money, in some cases under intimidation, threats and violence; a woman who allowed two men, one old, to fondle her ten year old daughter in exchange for gifts; another mother and a stepfather who did something similar with an eleven year old girl; a teacher in a polytechnic school who prostituted a minor and had intimate relations with several students, whom filmed and blackmailed to have sex with foreigners... Those were in short nine court cases in Cuba in 2012 when 14 people were sentenced, in the only cases that could be classified as trafficking crime, according to international standards, according to a report released last Tuesday by the Minister of Justice, and the full text was published on the website of the Foreign Ministry. Although the document adds other a little more significant figures, such as criminal prosecution for the same period of 241 persons for the crime of procurement, out of which 224, the 92.94% - were sentenced, or the 2,117 allegations of sexual offenses involving as alleged victims children (0.09% of the total child population) or 2,480 women attending counseling for violence, the problem would seem of little importance,...

Controversy over labor rights in Cuba

Many people in the world may think it is almost unheard what is happening in Cuba for the last weeks and until mid-October. Every worker or employee has the opportunity to propose amendments to the proposed law governing labor relations in the country. This public consultation on the draft Labour Code was convened by the Parliament and is undertaken by the unions, and then they will submit all disagreements and concerns, which are already quite a few for the consideration of deputies, who could approve the new rule of law during their next regular session in December. The legal proposal, however, although tries to capture the major changes in working relations on the island from updating its economic model is far from perfect. A significant group of workers, specialists and activists began from the first moment to raise their reservations about the draft, and the proposed additions are now pouring, along deletions and changes, in order to make it a more revolutionary law in language and content. One of the things that immediately jumped into the public debate in personal blogs and social networking, is the claim not to lose the possibility of incorporating the new Labour Code explicitly recognized...

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