Critics of the federal government argue that the elevated safety of sexual minorities have to be thought-about within the bigger context of freedom of expression, the place Cuba lags behind most of Latin American, and peaceable activists are routinely harassed and even imprisoned for voicing their discontent with the system.
Just some weeks in the past, a number of artists have been arrested after protesting, on the steps of the Havana Capitol, towards a latest legislation requiring artists to safe authorities permission for all performances and towards penalties for works that use pornography or violence or that denigrate “the nation’s symbols.”
It’s true that a lot work stays when it comes to civil and cultural rights, however one shouldn’t overlook how a lot Cuba has modified since these darkish years within the 1970s: At the moment, artists and writers use the web and different various boards to take part in debates — together with weighing the professionals and cons of the new constitution and the proposal to legalize same-sex marriage — that may have been unimaginable even a decade in the past.
The proposed structure is a welcome and needed reform, one that may introduce a authorized framework to ensure the permanence of the various achievements that Cuban society has attained previously a long time.
Cuba might capitalize on the progress it has made over time. It might export its revolutionary approaches to L.G.B.T. rights and intercourse training in the identical means that, earlier, it disseminated its revolutionary ideology by the usage of tradition. With a little bit of creativity, Cenesex might do the identical with its magazine, dedicated to gender and sexuality points. If within the 20th-century Cuba was a mannequin for leftist governments from Chile to Algeria, within the 21st it could possibly be an instance for lawmakers searching for to make their international locations extra livable for his or her L.G.B.T. residents.
The subsequent time I hear a buddy say, “I wish to go to Cuba earlier than issues change,” my response shall be: “Issues have already modified, however that’s exactly why it is best to go: to see the brand new Cuba. And in the event you hurry up, you would possibly even get to see the primary same-sex marriage on the island.”
Rubén Gallo is a professor at Princeton College and the writer, most lately, of “Teoría y Práctica de La Habana,” a memoir of life in Cuba through the present transition.