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Cuban LGBT activists defy government, hold pride parade

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana, Cuba May 11, 2019. Cuban gay rights activists held an unauthorized independent pride parade in Havana on Saturday despite the Communist government warning against it and calling it subversive, an unprecedented show of civil society in the one-party state.

REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana, Cuba May 11, 2019. Cuban gay rights activists held an unauthorized independent pride parade in Havana on Saturday despite the Communist...more

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana, Cuba May 11, 2019. Cuban gay rights activists held an unauthorized independent pride parade in Havana on Saturday despite the Communist government warning against it and calling it subversive, an unprecedented show of civil society in the one-party state. REUTERS/Stringer
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A Cuban LGBT activist is detained by plain-clothed security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. More than a hundred Cubans chanting "long live a diverse Cuba" and carrying rainbow flags joyfully marched nearly one kilometer (0.6 mile) from Havana's Central Park down to the seafront boulevard before being stopped by dozens of security officials.

REUTERS/Stringer

A Cuban LGBT activist is detained by plain-clothed security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. More than a hundred Cubans chanting "long live a diverse Cuba" and carrying rainbow...more

A Cuban LGBT activist is detained by plain-clothed security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. More than a hundred Cubans chanting "long live a diverse Cuba" and carrying rainbow flags joyfully marched nearly one kilometer (0.6 mile) from Havana's Central Park down to the seafront boulevard before being stopped by dozens of security officials. REUTERS/Stringer
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A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. At least three activists were arrested by plainclothes policemen while others were ordered to disperse given the activity did not have an official permit.

REUTERS/Stringer

A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. At least three activists were arrested by plainclothes policemen while others were ordered to disperse...more

A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. At least three activists were arrested by plainclothes policemen while others were ordered to disperse given the activity did not have an official permit. REUTERS/Stringer
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A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. "This moment marks a before and an after for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community but also for Cuban civil society more generally," said independent journalist and LGBT activist Maykel Gonzalez Vivero. "Social media is playing its role and civil society demonstrated it has strength, and can go out onto the streets if necessary, and from now on the government will have to take that into account."

REUTERS/Stringer

A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. "This moment marks a before and an after for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community...more

A Cuban LGBT activist argues with security personnel while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. "This moment marks a before and an after for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community but also for Cuban civil society more generally," said independent journalist and LGBT activist Maykel Gonzalez Vivero. "Social media is playing its role and civil society demonstrated it has strength, and can go out onto the streets if necessary, and from now on the government will have to take that into account." REUTERS/Stringer
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4 / 14
Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. This was the second march organized independently of state institutions - hitherto a rare occurrence in Cuba - in just over a month, although the previous one, in defense of animal rights, had received a permit from local authorities.

REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. This was the second march organized independently of state institutions - hitherto a rare occurrence in Cuba - in just over a month, although...more

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. This was the second march organized independently of state institutions - hitherto a rare occurrence in Cuba - in just over a month, although the previous one, in defense of animal rights, had received a permit from local authorities. REUTERS/Stringer
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Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. Activists called for their own parade after the state-run National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) earlier this week abruptly canceled its 12th annual conga against homophobia - Cuba's equivalent of gay pride.

REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. Activists called for their own parade after the state-run National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) earlier this week...more

Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. Activists called for their own parade after the state-run National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) earlier this week abruptly canceled its 12th annual conga against homophobia - Cuba's equivalent of gay pride. REUTERS/Stringer
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Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. CENESEX, headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of Communist Party leader Raul Castro, said in a statement that certain groups were planning to use the event to undermine the government, emboldened by the escalation of aggression by the Trump administration against Cuba and its leftist ally Venezuela. The United States has for decades financed often covert programs to promote democracy on the island and undermine the Communist government.

REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. CENESEX, headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of Communist Party leader Raul Castro, said in a statement that certain...more

Cuban LGBT activists kiss each other while participating in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. CENESEX, headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of Communist Party leader Raul Castro, said in a statement that certain groups were planning to use the event to undermine the government, emboldened by the escalation of aggression by the Trump administration against Cuba and its leftist ally Venezuela. The United States has for decades financed often covert programs to promote democracy on the island and undermine the Communist government. REUTERS/Stringer
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Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. But many LGBT activists said they felt the government was reacting more to pressure from evangelical churches, which have a growing following in Cuba and have campaigned against the expansion of gay rights.

REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. But many LGBT activists said they felt the government was reacting more to pressure from evangelical churches, which have a growing following in...more

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. But many LGBT activists said they felt the government was reacting more to pressure from evangelical churches, which have a growing following in Cuba and have campaigned against the expansion of gay rights. REUTERS/Stringer
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Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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9 / 14
Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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10 / 14
Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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11 / 14
Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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13 / 14
Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer

Cuban LGBT activists participate in an annual demonstration against homophobia and transphobia in Havana. REUTERS/Stringer
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