A Cuban in Paradise

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On its face, it would seem that Mariela has tried — and continues to try — valiantly to move the LGBT agenda forward. Under a pilot project, after pledging loyalty to the Revolution, she became the first Cuban to receive government-sponsored sex-reassignment surgery and underwent a full male-to-female transition. When Wendy marched with Ignacio and about 20 others in a small, unauthorized Pride Day parade in Havana in June , Mariela confronted Wendy, asking how she "could live, in bed and in a home, with an enemy of the revolution. Two months later, she and Ignacio were married in Havana.

The guest list also sent a powerful message. Mario Jose Delgado is a gay activist and independent journalist in Havana who also believes the outside world is being duped by Mariela. He and other LGBT Cubans are "very unhappy about the awards and recognition" she has received abroad, insisting, "It does not reflect the feelings of the gay community on the island.

Last November, Delgado was headed home to the Alamar section of Havana when three men in civilian clothes threw him into the backseat of a car. They drove him to the outskirts of town, where he was beaten in the face with a rock. Delgado says the men, who have never been identified, were interested only in the information he was carrying, which included names of members of a Christian LGBT group Delgado belonged to called Divine Hope.

The attackers took his cellphone and USB drive, as well as his notes and calendar, where the details of a demonstration Divine Hope was planning to hold the next month were stored. They also took his baseball cap for good measure. Delgado is certain his attackers were state security agents, though it is impossible to know for sure what exactly prompted the beating.

But there are plenty of LGBT Cubans who have settled into relatively comfortable lives by not calling too much attention to themselves. In Havana, I rent a room in a private home the Cuban government legalized this in Two men live here and it is obvious they are a couple, though they never say it. The dial-up connection in their duplex apartment is a luxury in Cuba, but looks like an antique to me. They obviously feel awkward about their situation.

But living in relative peace like this is a quantum advance from the era when same-sex couples lived in fear of being rounded up and sent to a labor camp. Even Fidel has come a long way. In those moments, I was not able to deal with the matter of homosexuals.

She seems to view the people sent away by her father and uncle as some sort of accidental by-catch, human turtles mistakenly caught in tuna nets. Mariela quickly corrected her interlocutor, taking exception to the term and insisting they were segregated "training camps. The exchange between Mariela and her audience brings to mind a Cuban saying: Cubans are prevented from fully communicating with one another. Internet access is scarce, expensive, and slow. Mobile phone penetration is the lowest in Latin America, at 11 percent. Vehicle ownership has been described by analysts as "exceptionally low," and the public transportation system is a disaster , hampering intercity travel.

This explains a lot about life on the island, Cuesta says — including some misperceptions about Gats Loco. And, like Gats Loco, they also quickly found themselves being offered "assistance" by the government. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. Sign up for free access to 3 articles per month and weekly email updates from expert policy analysts. He tried to start a GoFundMe page but that was shut down almost out of the gate.

Where the Canadian government is in all of this is unknown. On top of all that, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner is saying they will face an investigation by their office should they be allowed to come back to Vancouver anytime soon. This whole thing stinks. I will keep tabs on this case and report as things proceed. Subscribe to comments with RSS. Goodale gives millions to murdering terrorists but not to cops?

Been to Cuban Paradise Cigar and Cafe? Share your experiences!

This is an act of war after all what they are doing. The Cuban military is probably better equipped than ours thanks to JT and his dad. How about the image of them flying our flag upside down.

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Cuban Paradise cigar and cafe Sucks! - Cuban Paradise Cigar and Cafe

Trump has brought Americans home from iran and Korea faster than this. Hi Leo, thanks for this piece. I learned subsequently that none of this was true, yet not a hit of any retraction or correction from our local medial. This is certainly a very tragic set of events to have happened to these two young men. There certainly appears to be little if any evidence to support the charges.

Going to a communist country like Cuba or a country where there is a major drug war going on Mexico is not worth it, just to save a few bucks. You may pay more vacationing in Hawaii, but at least you are in a First World democracy if you get into criminal or medical trouble. Thank you Leo for updating all of us on this story. Like most people this had faded to the back of my mind. What an I justice. Where the hell is our Foreign Affairs?

A CUBAN IN PARADISE by Antonio J. Guernica | Kirkus Reviews

Where is our Cuban Consulate? A Minister from here has to go there to translate for their obviously inept Police that did a less than stellar job in investigating while these two lads virtually have to continue further into debt — without even being charged. Of which there seem so be an unsworn statement — period!

So, what we are dealing with here is not only the supreme injustice of a false accusation, but dangerous incompetence in the investigative process and flagrant human rights violations to add insult to injury. How much longer will this be allowed to go on for?? She has got off scot-free while these men, evidently innocent of any crime, perish. She should be held to account. She obviously did not hesitate to report this alleged crime to the authorities in a foreign country, so she should have no reason to decline to talk to investigators here unless she is afraid of due process!

In my opinion, travelling to a country with a questionable legal system is like travelling to a country without buying health insurance. The government should be doing more to warn Canadians against travel in such places!

Thank you for finally getting their story out! I have been trying to bring awareness in any way I can. Your articles have been a great source of help in doing so! Lets bring Mark and Jordan home! Thank you Leo for bringing the truth to light in these dark moments. May the good word be spread around in hopes of helping these two. I would like to see our Canadian government step in and bring them home where a Canadian investigation can take place — then we will have justice!

Cuba does not have anything on these men. Coming from someone who knows these two men personally.. It is such a shame that these two live in such horrible conditions and are at risk of losing their lives to something and someone who does deserve being locked up and losing theirs just for making up such an outrageous allegation against two outstanding men.

The lack of evidence speaks for itself and one fabricated statement should not be enough to destroy two innocent mens lives. Sounds like the wrong person got to go home and perhaps that person should be doing some time instead of these two. Sounds like a set up to me. Sounds like she probably would have done this to any guy, these two were just unfortunate enough to encounter her. She probably immediately regretted her actions and cried rape. Regret sex is often the basis for a false rape allegation!!

Do you know of any updates, Leo? Thanks for giving the other side of the story. My thoughts are with them and their families.

Leo, any guess as to when the OPCC or other police officials may step in to assist or are they waiting for a decision to be made in Cuba and what good will it do for the guys then? So allegedly that woman wanted to have unprotected sex but Simms used a condom? Classy lady, right there. Come clean and apologize for this and maybe the jury will go easy on you. Being a parent myself, I have a pretty good idea of who my child is as an individual.

While I might not always agree with their teenage antics, I know what my kid is and is not capable of. Her parents must have an idea that she fabricated this story? This could because they want to protect her, and any parent would.

A Cuban in Paradise

How does it not eat away at them by the fact that she has lied and now two innocent men may end up in prison? Given how confidently she approached the two men and her dialogue, it sounds like she is rather experienced in boozy and promiscuous antics. Whoever she was with on the trip failed to supervise her in which lead her to get into some trouble during one of the busiest and rowdiest weekends of the year spring break. It leads me to wonder if her parents are completely blind to who she is as a person? I believe that embarrassment over her own actions and not wanting to come clean out of fear of being disciplined has lead her to continue a lie in hopes that it would all disappear eventually.

Did the parents not notice the absence of bruises and other characteristics that would make it obvious she was harmed? The outcome of the physical tests seems to disprove any real resistance and roughness you would assume would have been present in a forceful assault. Since she has gotten to go home and there seems to be radio silence from what I have read on the case, my guess is she continued on with her life as normal as it was before her trip..


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Unfortunately for her and her family, an issue such as this is not just going to be swept under the rug. The truth will come out. This stupid girl needs to be put away and the boys need to be brought home!

Cops in Cuban paradise in living hell

The canadian government needs to do something! Cuban government is so corrupt. I work with Jordan and he is an amazing person and cop. I am so upset and devostated that our government is doing nothing to bring them home. Get someone there to help get them home!! Our government would rather bring Isis fighters here than get their own people home. Would you care if it was two Canadian citizens on welfare. Let them rot in prison. Poor young girl…17 years old…a minor. Wow…two policemen and one minor. Dale take your head out of your ass.

She is of legal age in Cuba and Canada. Have you been following the case at all? Sound like a poor young girl to you? Probably made her way through many guys already with a mouth like that, you learn it somewhere after all. The officers have been acquitted and not just from lack of evidence but from a witness that disproved her statement in full. Glad to see these men have been found not guilty. Now send the girl back to Cuba so she can be charged with perjury and locked up!

Should send her family there too for perpetuating the lie. You are commenting using your WordPress.