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Protests Gather in Cuba Against Communism

25/07/2021

BBC Radio 4 reports that a rare anti-communist protest has taken place in Cuba, a Soviet style state which survived the collapse of Russian communism in 1989. Demands of the demonstrators include democracy, multi-party pluralism and an end to the authoritarian police state. In retaliation the government has accused protesters of being foreign agents and have called on all “true communists” in their words, to chase demonstrators off the streets. Although Pride events are permitted in modern Cuba, and the government has made some overtures to the LGBTQ communities, there are still deep wounds in Cuban gay society at the policies of the early republic, when the communist authorities interred homosexuals and transgendered people in forced labour camps and later, forced HIV positive people into sanitoriums. With the early gay movement heavily influenced by pro-Cuban leftists, there were numerous clashes over how to deal with the regime's homophobia. In 1980, Cuba expelled hundreds of artists, dissidents and gay people across the ninety mile seaway to Florida, where the gay led Metropolitan Community Church helped rehouse destitute Cuban exiles. The Cuban government has since apologised for its past policies, but for many LGBTQ people, this cannot undo the past. Interested in learning more about Cuban society and politics? The Cuban communist government station, Radio Havana, transmits in English at 6am on 6000 kHz shortwave. Radio Marti, a dissident anti-communist station, transmits from the US in Spanish round the clock at 7335 kHz shortwave.

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