Monday, April 18, 2011

As Cuba celebrates the 50th year anniversary of the failed U.S. Bay of Pigs invasion, a place at the table for the gays

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of Cubans gathered at Havana's Revolution Square to observe the 50th anniversary of the failed U.S. Bay of Pigs invasion.

The historic event, known in Cuba as the Girón Beach Battle, has always been celebrated with a huge annual military parade and fireworks akin to the 4th of July or Veteran's Day celebrations in the United States.

It's also preceded and followed by huge public rallies dedicated this year to the younger generations by Cuban president Raúl Castro (he expressed concern that those who surrounded him were reaching his age or were older and said he wanted to promote the participation of younger generations in Cuban revolutionary party politics).

His daughter, Mariela Castro, was also there as the director of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX) and led an unofficial LGBT contingent who proudly carried the rainbow flag next to the Cuban flag (that's Mariela Castro at the center in the picture holding the rainbow flag).

On their site, CENESEX posted additional photos and noted that their participation in the historic ceremony comes in advance of the 4th Annual Congress Against Homophobia which will take place in May and feature cultural and educational forums throughout the island including Havana, Camagüey, Ciego de Ávila, Granma, Villa Clara and, yes, Guantanamo.

No word on whether U.S. actor Sean Penn will show up after taking a rain-check last year when he was invited to the Cuban premiere of Gus Van Sant's "Milk" during last year's anti-homophobia events.


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