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Cuba: Bloggers Discuss Mariela Castro's US Visit

On the heels of United States (US) President Barack Obama's support for gay marriage, Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and Director of the country's Centro Nacional de Educación Sexual (National Center for Sex Education), is visiting the United States; during her stay, she has been addressing gay rights activists, but her trip has not gone over well with some bloggers.

Diaspora blogger Alberto de la Cruz, writing a babalu, felt:

That Mariela Castro claimed that Cuba, under the tyrannical boot of her father and brother for more than five decades, is a free and democratic country during her remarks in New York this past Tuesday is not a story. The Cuban dictatorship has been spewing that lie for as long as it has been a dictatorship. The real story here is how the New York Public Library lent itself to assist Mariela Castro and her family's dictatorship to promote their lies and propaganda.

He was also irritated by the fact that:

…Not even one person who opposes the Castro regime was allowed to enter [the New York Public Library, where Castro gave her speech this past Tuesday]. 177 seats, and each and every one of them either empty or filled by a Castro regime sympathizer.

The blog Cambios en Cuba (Changes in Cuba) [es] focused on the fact that Castro referred to herself as a “dissident” during her address:

«Los revolucionarios somos disidentes, somos incómodos y sufrimos la discriminación por nuestro proyecto histórico por una ideología que intenta experimentar la emancipación plena del ser humano», añadió la hija del presidente cubano ante un auditorio de más de un centenar de personas.

‘The dissidents are revolutionaries, we are uncomfortable and suffer discrimination for our historic project by an ideology that tries to experience the full emancipation of the human being,’ added the daughter of Cuban President before an audience of over one hundred people.

But Havana-based dissident Yoani Sanchez countered:

I understand her. She carries on her shoulders an ancestry that perhaps many times she would have liked to shake off, deny, erase from her life. I am just the upstart, the intruder, without pedigree, without a worthy family tree to show off. My parents didn’t fight in the Sierra Maestra, the slogans that were forged inside her house were regularly rejected in mine, the speeches delivered by her exalted uncle fell on the skeptical ears of my clan. She is entitled to the microphones, appears on national television to be interviewed and praised, while my face is only seen surrounded by adjectives such as ‘enemy,’ ‘cyber terrorist,’ without offering me — of course — the right to respond.

Sanchez ended by making the point that:

She has been making her tour of the United States and the Cuban news has not labeled her a mercenary for it. She has said, ‘I would vote for Obama,’ and — surprise! — the national press does not accuse her of being ‘pro Yankee.’ She is a prisoner of her lineage and I barely have a past to look at, right now I just wake up thinking about tomorrow. She and I, although it scares her and she denies it, are part of this country… very different daughters of this land, the fruits beloved and not beloved of the process. She will have to recognize that I exist, I am, that this Sanchez demands her right to criticize the follies of its windmills.

The thumbnail image used in this post, “CENESEX y CHA”, is by CHA Argentina, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons license. Visit CHA Argentina's flickr photostream.

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