Cuban police broke up the colorful parade, or “conga”, in Havana on Saturday. As Associated Press reported, at least three protesters who refused to obey orders to leave were arrested as result of the unathorized LGBT march in Island of Freedom’s capital.
Cuba’s government made several steps towards the improving the human rights of the bisexulas, gays, lesbians and transgenders, however, the unathorized marches are still banned in the country. In a first for Cuba, where there is tight government control, the march was organized on social media.
Around 100 people took part in Saturday’s march, they were protesting the cancellation of the parade against homophobia organized by the government’s National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex), an office under the Ministry of Health, and held for the past ten years.
The protesters’ cried “Yes we can!”, waived rainbow flags and carrying signs with slogans like “Diverse Cuba,” managed to march a mere 400 meters along Havana’s downtown Paseo del Prado before being dispersed by police.
Many protesters were surprised when the police made tough moves and broke up the gathering. Cenesex is led by lawmaker Mariela Castro, the daughter of former president Raul Castro, who at the age of 87 is still first secretary of the Cuban ruling Communist Party.
Earlier in the week Cenesex announced that the official march was cancelled due to unspecified “new tensions in the international and regional context.” The office urged people to respect the official calls for unity.