Cuba and Same-Sex Marriage
July 22, 2018, 2:37 p.m.
I was born and raised in Miami, Florida and called the “magic city” my home for forty-five years, until I relocated to Saint Augustine earlier this year.
In 1963, my parents fled Cuba along with my brother who was one year old at the time. By then, Fidel Castro had been in power for four years.
Even though at times traveling four hundred miles south feels like a cross country trip, there is no denying the influence of Cuba in my life. I still visit Miami regularly, not only for business, but also to visit my mother and of course, enjoy un cafecito y un plato grande de arroz con pollo asopado.
There was a time that political persecution in Cuba was the norm, and some would argue it still is. While there has been a decrease in human rights violations, it remains a serious problem in Cuba where the government still controls the media. Read article by Human Rights Watch here and Amnesty International’s article here.
My parents told me endless stories of individuals they knew personally that were imprisoned for expressing their political opinion; a concept foreign to me then, and even more so now since my background is in law. Since I was fortunate enough to born in the United States, I was insulated from these abuses of political power, corruption, and human rights violations.
When Fidel Castro died in November of 2016, I lived seven blocks away from La Carreta restaurant located on Bird Road and 87th avenue. If you live in Miami, then you know that is where you go to celebrate whether it is the Florida/Miami Marlins winning the World Series, the Heat running away with the NBA Championship, or the death of Fidel Castro.
That night in November walking back home, I gave thought to the future of Cuba and wondered if change was coming, and if so, when?
Reuters recently published an article concerning Cuba’s draft of the constitution which according to government officials, opens the door to same sex marriage.
Cuba’s dark history not only included imprisoning political dissidents, but also its gay citizens. Maybe now with the Castro era behind us, change will come quicker and maybe with a little luck, old wounds can start to heal.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
- To read the article written by Sarah Marsh of Reuters, follow this link.
- Additional articles on the LGBTQ community