President Obama meets with LGBT activists in Cuba

President Obama met with LGBT activists during his historic trip to Cuba, according to the the White House.  Juano Mora Cedeño and Nelson Álvarez Matute, both of the LGBT and human rights group Alianza Mano, were among the civil society actors who attended a meeting with the President in Havana on Tuesday.

LGBT people in Cuba have found a powerful ally in Mariela Castro, the Director of the National Center for Sexual Education. Castro, the daughter of current President Raul Castro and the niece of Fidel Castro, regularly speaks out in favor of LGBT rights and is credited with a softening towards the community by government authorities.

Mora has in the past criticized both the Castro regime and the National Center for Sexual Education.  In an interview with the Washington Blade she stated that President Obama, “listened to everyone… he listened to each part, including the LGBT community.”  Mora also met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who led a Congressional delegation to the Island in February 2015, and was a participant at a hearing on LGBT discrimination held by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., in October.

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