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New Family Code in Cuba: Communists will never have good intentions

In 2010, an aging Fidel Castro admitted after 50 years his responsibility in the persecution of homosexuals in Cuba since the dictatorship began. He was accompanied by Ernesto Guevara, better known as Che Guevara. Both carried out a rhetoric of violence and repression as a state policy framed in their ideal of “new man” who should not only demonstrate his manhood, but also defend the “revolution.” So, those who did not fall within that parameter suffered the consequences.

The price to be paid by homosexuals from the 1960s ranged from receiving the description of “sexual perverts” to being interned in places baptized as the Military Production Assistance Unit (UMAP). Words more, words less, they were forced labor camps.

But now, the Cuban regime seeks to leave the old communism behind and dye itself with the new progressivism. Times have changed. That is why its objective is focused on mutating and sympathizing with minorities, as well as seizing their speech. He is not the only one who does. Other governments and companies in the world apply the same maneuver. However, the background of the Cuban dictatorship makes few believe in the good intentions of the new movement of Castroism.

The Family Code is the tool to seal this mutation. The regime organized for next September 25 a referendum for the approval of a new version of this norm since its entry into force in 1975. There will be two options available for the electorate «Yes» and «No». The novelties include same-sex marriage.

Like Auschwitz: “Work will make them men”

This referendum on the Family Code is given by a provision of the Cuban Constitution endorsed in 2019. In 2021, the National Assembly of People’s Power (ANPP) approved a version that that same year went through a “popular consultation.” Now, in less than 10 days, it will be time to definitely vote for it. Surely, Che Guevara would have screamed to heaven.

It is that under his supervision, the regime boasted “bearded warriors” who had nothing to do with homosexuals, according to them. The communist guerrilla was in fact “an intolerant man,” an Elcato article quoted in 2017. Any deviation from the “new man” was branded as “counterrevolutionary.” Hand in hand with him, the first work camp in Cuba was also created in 1960, located on the Guanahacabibes peninsula. By 1965 the UMAPs already existed, which functioned until 1968, through which some 25,000 men passed, including those for their “bourgeois” homosexuality, as well as Afro-Cuban priests or Jehovah’s Witnesses. The intolerance and repression was total.

But now, with the new Family Code, the Cuban regime of Miguel Díaz-Canel intends to erase the barbarism of the past. There is no mention of this. It only goes with its supposed moderate offer framed within the “progressive” current to sell itself as an apparent democratic and inclusive system.

Other proposals are included in the recent version, such as the expansion of rights for the elderly or other types of kinship (by adoption, assisted reproduction, etc.). However, for the regime it is impossible to hide how the Cuban dictatorship took the Auschwitz motto, “work sets you free”, to adapt it to “work will make men” and thus correct the “antisocial behavior” of those who did not adapt. to the parameters of his revolution.

Conquest of rights?

So, the instrument is not an “inclusive and pluralistic” norm, as the Cuban regime makes it seem, nor a mere “inclusive code, which multiplies rights”, as the UN describes citing social activists. Demo Amlat, a project promoted by Electoral Transparency, puts a valid question on the table: Is it about winning rights or pinkwashing? The term refers to political and marketing strategies to appear supposedly progressive by appealing to the community known as LGBTIQ+.

“What it is about is a pinkwashing strategy to offer both on the island and abroad an image of progressivism and massive citizen participation, although paradoxically, subjecting the rights of minorities to a plebiscite.”

The basis of this argument is that first, the rights are not submitted to a plebiscite. Second, it must be considered that the figure of electoral observation is not planned on the island, there are no instances of independent citizen comptrollership and the electoral processes are controlled by the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC).

Blatant state propaganda

The Cuban regime also violates the provision of not engaging in propaganda, set forth in article 85 of the Electoral Law. Since the goal is to appear to be a system with freedoms, the government apparatus turned completely to defend the new Family Code.

Most of the messages on Twitter between January and August have been in favor of “Yes”, Probox recorded. They positioned 28 trends with more than 268,000 messages. On the other hand, no tendencies in favor of “No” have been documented. But a poll between February and April showed that almost 40% of the participants “had no favorable views on the bill.”

The vote of Cubans abroad who are not subject to the Castro regime is also not allowed. About 1.5 million reside in the US alone, according to data from the Census Bureau.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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