by Leslie Feinberg
World View Forum
Featuring an insightful look at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) life in Cuba, this chronicle illuminates the progress the country has made from centuries of backward attitudes and oppression to the current state of enlightenment.
From the mores of the Colonial period to the roles that Hollywood, the CIA, and Wall Street played in depicting Cuba as a "police state" for gays and in reinforcing the oppression, this overview provides a backdrop of the past and illustrates the persecution and exploitation originally planted by Spanish colonialism and further cultivated by U.S. capitalism. Details on the gradual transformation follow as the narrative examines the impact of the political and institutional initiatives taken by Fidel Castro and the Cuban leadership to overcome bigotry and prejudice against LGBT people-among them free health care and education, guaranteed jobs and housing, special health care for AIDS victims, and widespread sex education.