Cuban activists welcome normalized relations between U.S. and Cuba

Published: December 17, 2014

washington blade
Michael K. Lavers
Original Article: 

Cuban LGBT rights advocates on Wednesday welcomed President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. will seek to normalize relations with their country.

Yosvanys Fonseca Aguilar of the Network of Young People for Health and Sexual Rights,, a group that is part of the National Center for Sexual Education (CENESEX), which Mariela Castro Espín, daughter of Cuban President Raúl Castro, directs, told the Washington Blade he feels normalized relations between the U.S. and Cuba will have “positive benefits for the Cuban LGBT community.” These include the opportunity to build support for marriage rights for same-sex couples on the Communist island and other LGBT-specific issues.

“Work on these issues has already taken place in Cuba,” Fonseca told the Blade. “But the normalization of relations in Cuba will bring many changes in benefits for all Cubans.”

Fonseca spoke with the Blade shortly before the White House formally announced the U.S. will “immediately begin discussions” with the Cuban government to reestablish diplomatic relations that ended in January 1961. These include the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana and allowing “high-ranking” American officials to visit Cuba.

Obama has instructed the State Department to review Cuba’s designation of a state-sponsor of terrorism. The White House also said it will further relax travel restrictions to the Communist island and allow additional remittances from the U.S.

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