Just days before the Cuba’s annual gay rights celebrations, ‘Cuban Conga against Homophobia and Transphobia’, the organizing committee has decided to stop the parade as an ‘adjustment’ to the program. The annual parade is a time where Cuban LGBTQ+ members and allies to march with rainbow flags and with pride in Havana’s main street. The event was to take place on May 11th.
The National Center of Sexual Education (Cenesex) which is part of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) and is headed by Mariela Castro announced in a press release:
The new tensions in the international and regional context directly and indirectly affect our country and have tangible and intangible impacts on the normal development of our daily life and on the implementation of the policies of the Cuban State.
The announcement was very cryptic and did not address what the real concerns are that are impeding the parade. The country has demonstrated to be more progressive in recent decades with regard to LGBTQ+ issues, funding gender reassignment surgery, outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation, and providing sensitivity training to law enforcement when working with homosexuals and transgender citizens.
Just last month the Pan-American Health Organization in Cuba launched a health initiative that distributes PrEP free of charge to individuals who are in need.
The rest of the activities planned for the Cuban Days celebrations will continue and organizers hope that the missing parade will strengthen the rest of the activities. There has been no announcement as to whether the parade observance will resume next year.