At the beginning of Fidel Castro’s revolution, gays and transsexuals were locked up or sent to labor camps. Even a decade ago they were regularly harassed by police. Now it’s Fidel’s niece Mariela Castro who has launched a nationwide campaign to battle homophobia. As president of the National Sexual Education Center, she’s pushing for same-sex unions.
“I want to live in a socialist society where there is absolute justice,” she recently told CNN. “So there can’t be discrimination of any kind.”
More radical yet, Cuba has begun to provide sex-change operations. The financing and the medical specialists come from Belgium, which has a long-standing partnership with Cuban medicine in this area.