El Blog de Mariela Castro

Women are no longer willing to be condemned to death by burning at the stake for heresy and witchcraft

Mr. Co-Chair, My delegation fully endorses the speech given by the representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the name of the G-77. The promotion of equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment are pending issues of the international agenda that are urgently needed. We cannot speak about sustainable development when more than a billion people live under extreme poverty, while an unfair distribution of income increases. There will not be sustainable development if inequality lasts in the international economic relations. We cannot achieve sustainable development without a real political will directed to put an end to the deep gaps between rich and poor countries, if the existing gaps within each nation are not also eliminated, if there is not an agreed action to eradicate poverty that mainly affects women, girls and boys, young people and other vulnerable groups. There will not be sustainable development if the…

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Eight Session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, “Measuring democratic governance: the art of the possible”

Ladies and Gentlemen, As a member of the Cuban Parliament, I would like to socialize some ideas about the subject that brought us here today, because I consider that there are no unique patterns for democracy. The common denominator of democratic systems is that they are the expression of people‘s sovereignty and of the exercise of their right to freely determine their political, economic and social system. The nation’s government systems are, furthermore, intrinsically linked to their historic conditions. The exercise of democracy always presupposes the direct or indirect participation of the people in the fundamental decisions that concerns them. It also presupposes their direct control on the way they are represented. It also implies their total involvement over their countries’ natural resources, their economy and income distribution. The exercise of democracy also means a major participation in the decision making process of  vulnerable groups like women, young people, the…

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2014. New opportunities for the future of humanity.

The year 2014 could be crucial for the future of humanity, if we achieve that the topics related to sexual and reproductive health and rights are addressed and included in the new Post-2015 Agenda for Development. During 2014, several regional and world meetings will be carried out between representatives of all Member States of the UN, in order to negotiate the bases of a new framework for development, which should contemplate the elimination of poverty and promotion of social, economic and environmental sustainability as an essential objective. The Millennium Development Goals, whose 15-year horizon ends in 2015, constituted an incentive for mobilizing the international community in the pursuit of their achievement. However, exacerbation of the structural conditions that generate different inequality and inequity gaps, resistance to modifying traditions based on prejudices or attachment to historical power positions of some groups over others, continue to interfere in the path of dialogue…

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Dear Saúl

It is so hard to accept you are gone. Since I met you, we have been very close, feeling the need to develop projects together, to think of impossible things, and above all, unite our efforts to overcome the obstacles that keep the Cuban and US peoples from freely embracing each other. I admire your generosity, your deep sense of solidarity, your lifelong history as a US citizen. Your struggle for just causes, your bravery, your ideals and your love for relatives and friends were the biggest ambitions in your life. This is the legacy you leave us. All this and much more make you a great man in the eyes of the Cuban people. Your common sense, intelligence and kindness are with me still, along with the great satisfaction I feel for having known you.  Although it was never your intention, you are very important to us, an example for…

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Open Letter to Republican and Democratic National Committees

To the Republican and Democratic National Committees: In light of both the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions we, as Cuban Americans and American citizens, urge both parties to not fall into the trap of viewing our community as a monolithic voting bloc that is in favor of the United States’ embargo on Cuba.  During these conventions the platforms for each party will be decided upon and put into action. For the past fifty years, a strategy of blind support for the embargo has become the norm for political candidates from both parties in order to garner the support of Cuban Americans. We would implore all candidates to not look upon our demographics as one that unanimously supports this failed policy of hostility. Rather, we are a diverse body of voices with a majority that favors a policy of engagement, and ultimately, normalization of relations between the two nations. Numerous polls…

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The Cuban Five: I spoke with Gerardo and Rene

Immediately after the closing session of the 30th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) in San Francisco (California), I attended a very moving meeting organized by the Solidarity Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, coordinated by Gloria La Riva, with the participation of many intellectuals from Cuba and the United States.  Present at the meeting were Alice Walker, Danny Glover, Saul Landau, and Miguel Barnet, among many others. To our surprise, René made a phone call and, when my turn to speak to him came, he reminded me, laughing, when some years back, in an interview I gave to CNN I was talking about Sexual Education in Cuba and the set was full of images demanding the freedom of the Cuban Five.  He said that when he saw the images in his prison cell it was very funny to see how the cameras were trying…

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A Message of Friendship

On my visit to San Francisco and New York Dear friends, In 2002, during George W. Bush’s Administration I got visa to travel to the United States twice. The first time I got it too late, so I wasn’t able to attend a Congress on Sexology I had been invited to.  The second time, I was able to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), one of the world’s oldest associations dealing with the studies on this topic, founded in 1957 (which in its 2009 meeting, held in Puerto Vallarta, acknowledged my work with the Public Service Award).  Since then, we have maintained close professional ties. I was committed with the World Association on Sexology (WAS) to promote and held its 16th Congress in March, 2003 in Havana, where a numerous group of participants from the United States was welcomed.  A truly enriching…

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