Archive for May 29th, 2013

Mariela Castro pulls Cuban team from Outgames, cites organizers’ snub

May 29, 2013


Cuba’s first daughter responds to the ‘hostile’ decision of World Outgames organizers, who revoked their invitation that she be co-chair of the human rights chapter
By Jean Paul Zapata – Gaystarnews

Mariela Castro, a vocal advocate for LGBT rights in Cuba and niece of Fidel Castro, has pulled the Cuban team from participating in July’s World Outgames.

According to Mexican sports magazine Esto, Castro said that Outgames organizers revoked their offer to make her co-chair of the human rights chapter for the games, later saying she is only allowed to attend as a speaker.

Castro, who attended the Outgames as a speaker on three previous occasions, said the directors of the international homosexual sporting event succumbed to foreign political pressure, possibly from the Netherlands or Miami.

Castro asked of the Outgames organizers: ‘How am I going to be discriminated against for my politics? I, who am a fighter for human rights and the inclusion of all human beings?’

Cuba’s debut at the Outgames, to be held in Antwerp, Belgium from 31 July to 11 August, was meant to be the first time any delegation from the island attended this type of event. Castro confirmed that the Belgian government had nothing to do with what she calls a ‘political manipulation’.

Castro reported that a Cuban team’s participation in an international homosexual sports event is be postponed until 2014, as she has received an invitation from the Gay Games, the world’s largest and oldest LGBT sporting event.

As director of CENESEX (National Center for Sex Education), Castro has played a pivotal role in the betterment of LGBT rights in a country where homosexuals were sent to labor camps. Earlier this month Castro received an award for her groundbreaking LGBT rights advocacy work in Cuba. (,)

!mariela dice give me five

In Reversal, USAID Raises Budget for Wasteful Cuba ‘Regime Change’ Programs

May 29, 2013


In a statement released today, the Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) is criticizing the Obama administration for “knuckling under to Congressional pressure” and raising the budget for USAID’s regime change activities in Cuba.

In a previously undisclosed communication, the U.S. State Department and USAID have told Congress they will set aside plans to cut the budget for programs and activities that seek the overthrow of the Cuban government, and will instead spend $20 million on the efforts in FY 2014 as originally planned.

Congress was notified of the decision on May 17, according to a report filed by Tracey Eaton, the independent journalist, analyzed here on his Along the Malecon blog.

USAID administrator, Rajiv Shah, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 24(th) that his agency planned to cut the Cuba regime change budget to $15 million, saying the lower figure “reflects an appropriate investment that they…

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May 29, 2013


Press Conference to Announce Beginning of “5 Days for the Cuban 5 in Washington DC”

CONTACT: Netfa Freeman, (202) 787-5229
(Spanish or English): Alicia Jrapko, (510) 219-0092
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

WHAT: Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5 was released in October 2011 but had to remain in the U.S. for three more years under supervised probation. Just recently, in a two-week authorized visit, due to the death of his father, Gonzalez was allowed to stay in Cuba after renouncing his U.S. citizenship. Incarcerated since 1998, the internationally known Cuban 5 came to this country in the 1990’s to monitor the activities of right-wing anti-Cuba groups responsible for carrying out terrorist acts against Cuba that have resulted in the deaths of close to 3500 people since 1959. The other 4 remain in U.S. prison.

Starting May 30th through June 5th, representatives from 22 countries will participate in a series of activities calling for changing U.S. policies towards Cuba and for the freedom of the Cuban 5.

WHO: Rene Gonzalez, the first of the Cuban 5 to be released; live from Havana.
Ignacio Ramonet, Spanish writer and former editor in chief of Le Monde Diplomatique, author of “100 Hours with Fidel”
Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama 2012
Wayne Smith, former Chief of U.S. Interests Section in Havana during Carter administration; Currently Senior Fellow at Center for International Policy

WHERE: National Press Club 529 14th St. NW, Bloomberg Rm.

WHEN: Thursday May 30, 2013, 9:00 AM

The 5 Days for the Cuban 5 is being organized by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 and sponsored by Institute for Policy Studies

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