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Usan el derecho de admisión en bares cubanos para expulsar personas LGBTI+

“Yo soy el que trabajaba ese día,” reveló, “pero no voy a comentar absolutamente nada, tendría que contar con la autorización del titular del bar.”

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Efe es una discoteca, club nocturno y restaurante en Vedado en La Habana. (Foto cortesía de Facebook)

Nota del editor: Tremenda Nota es una revista electrónica independiente en Cuba que documenta las comunidades LGBTI y minoritarias del país y los jóvenes. Es una pareja de contenido del Washington Blade en América Latina.

Tremenda Nota originalmente publicó esa nota en su sitio web.

Para cerrarle la puerta a personas LGBTI+ algunos bares privados de La Habana han usado como argumento “el derecho de admisión” en los últimos años. Incidentes recientes dejan al descubierto la falta de legislación cubana para evitar la discriminación y proteger a las víctimas.

A la medianoche de este 8 de julio, Brian Canelles y Arian Abreu tomaban unas copas en el Efe Bar, ubicado en El Vedado, La Habana. Quisieron tirarse una selfie y darse un beso. Uno de los agentes de seguridad les advirtió que no podían hacer la foto y acabó echándolos porque “el bar no quería mostrar una imagen gay.” Argumentó: “no nos interesa ese público, no queremos ganarnos esa fama.”

El Efe se promociona en Facebook como una discoteca, club nocturno y restaurant que quiere distinguirse por su oferta musical de conciertos en vivo. Por eso José Luis Nodarse, cubano que vive en Miami, lo escogió en mayo para reencontrarse con algunos amigos. A uno de ellos, Coco, le prohibieron la entrada. El supervisor de turno le dijo que Coco no podía entrar porque “lo conocían” y lo habían visto en “estado no aceptable.” Solo con ese argumento usaban “el derecho de admisión” para negarle la entrada. “Mi amigo es conocido como gay y creo que si hay un mal comportamiento o una mala actitud solo en ese momento se debe actuar,” protesta José Luis. “Me quedó claro que era homofobia.”

Pidió ver al encargado del lugar y le preguntó si no dejaban entrar a su amigo porque era gay. El administrador, un poco asustado le dijo, sin explicar motivos, “no, no se trata de eso, pero nos reservamos el derecho de admisión.”

Tras la denuncia publicada este lunes por Brian Canelles en su perfil de Facebook, que generó la reacción de decenas de activistas LGBTI, Efe Bar publicó que “siempre levantará la bandera contra la homofobia.” Además, se defiende diciendo que su “política ha sido y será siempre respetar a los demás como personas, sin importar su sexo, raza, inclinación sexual o posición social.” Según la administración, “es una pena que se esté creando una opinión falsa y dañina sobre muchas personas en base a la opinión de una sola.”

Un trabajador de Efe Bar que se identificó como Roberto, “uno de los administradores,” atendió el llamado al bar de Tremenda Nota pero se rehusó a ofrecer su versión del incidente que terminó con la expulsión de Brian Canelles y su novio.

“Yo soy el que trabajaba ese día,” reveló, “pero no voy a comentar absolutamente nada, tendría que contar con la autorización del titular del bar.”

Brian asegura que nunca pudo ver a este administrador. “Le pedí que me llamara al supervisor, pero dijo q no iba a perder su tiempo, que nos retiraramos del bar.”

“Le dije que no iba a irme de ningún lugar, que ya había gastado 100 CUC [pesos cubanos equivalentes a dólares] en el local, como para que me expulsaran sin tomar siquiera la foto,” agrega Brian.

Este reclamo, unido a la queja del novio y la hermana, precipitó la expulsión. “Me agarró por el brazo y me llevó a la salida,” recuerda Brian. “Dijeron que tenían el derecho de admisión y decidían qué público dejaban entrar a su bar. Le rebatimos diciendo que ser un negocio privado no les daba derecho a tratarnos así, pero cerraron la puerta sin más.”

Homofobia en bares privados, ¿con derecho?

KingBar se halla a menos de 300 metros de Efe Bar. Su gráfica publicitaria alude atrevidamente al sexo anal.

Al principio quiso presentarse como un espacio gay-friendly. A su inauguración asistió Mariela Castro, directora del Centro Nacional de Educación y la activista LGBT más conocida del país.

No obstante, KingBar fue reportado por activistas LGBT a causa de exclusiones que parecían inspiradas por la orientación sexual, la identidad de género y la clase social.

KingBar es una discoteca, club nocturno y restaurante en Vedado en La Habana. (Foto cortesía de Facebook)

El 27 de junio de 2015, como tributo a los sucesos de Stonewall, el dramaturgo Norge Espinosa y una decena de gais y lesbianas fueron al KingBar con el propósito de realizar una “besada pública” y llamar la atención sobre el acceso discriminatorio a espacios públicos.

Según la crónica de Espinosa, publicada en el blog del Proyecto Arcoiris, los dueños del bar “no se sentían a gusto con demasiados gais y lesbianas dentro de sus predios” y aplicaban “una política de portero excluyente.”

La visita de los activistas derivó, narra el dramaturgo, “en un cruce de argumentos acerca del ‘derecho de admisión’ que la casa se reserva.”

KingBar recientemente fue citado por una web de turismo como una de las “siete mejores fiestas gay de La Habana.”

La mayoría de las legislaciones reconocen el derecho de admisión por circunstancias declaradas y objetivas, sin comprometer el derecho a la igualdad de los clientes y la protección contra la discriminación. En Cuba no hay regulaciones legales sobre el tema. Tampoco leyes antidiscriminación que incluyan explícitamente a la comunidad LGBTI.

El Código Penal cubano, sin embargo, castiga el Delito contra el derecho de igualdad, que sanciona con multa o cárcel de hasta dos años a quien “discrimine a otra persona o promueva e incite a la discriminación.”

Solo se conoce un proceso penal por este motivo en las tres décadas que lleva el código en vigor. Ocurrió el año pasado cuando la estudiante Yanay Aguirre denunció que un chofer la bajó de un taxi privado por el color de su piel. La Fiscalía General de la República declaró, en el contexto del incidente, que “Cuba no necesita leyes contra el racismo.”

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Russia

Brittney Griner appeals 9-year prison sentence in Russia

Russian court on Aug. 4 convicted WNBA star of drug smuggling.

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A Brittney Griner mural in D.C. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

MOSCOW — Lawyers for WNBA star Brittney Griner on Monday appealed the nine-year prison sentence she received earlier this month after a Russian court convicted her of smuggling drugs into the country.

The court on Aug. 4 convicted Griner — a Phoenix Mercury center and two-time Olympic gold medalist who is a lesbian and married to her wife, Cherelle Griner — and sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony.

Officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February detained Brittney Griner after customs inspectors allegedly found hashish oil in her luggage. The State Department subsequently determined that Russia “wrongfully detained” her.

Brittney Griner in July pleaded guilty to the drug smuggling charges.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has publicly acknowledged the U.S. has offered Russia a deal to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, another American citizen who is serving a 16-year prison sentence after his conviction for spying.

American officials have reportedly expressed a willingness to release Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S., as part of a prisoner swap.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week said his country was “ready to discuss” a potential deal with the U.S. A spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry later confirmed negotiations between the two countries over a potential prisoner swap have begun.

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Asia

WorldPride 2025 in Taiwan cancelled

“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, has unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed upon consensus”

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Taipei Pride October, 2014 (Photo by Andy Lain 多元的台灣 2014彩虹大遊行)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwanese organizers of the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan will not hold the event after InterPride, a global LGBTQ rights group, refused to let the Taiwanese organizers use the island nation’s name in the event title.

WorldPride Taiwan 2025 was initially slated to be hosted by the southern city of Kaohsiung after the Taiwan Preparation Committee, consisting of representatives from Kaohsiung Pride and Taiwan Pride, had their bid accepted by InterPride, a global LGBTQ rights group.

 A-Ku (阿古), co-chairman of the local WorldPride Taiwan 2025 organizing committee told media outlets that InterPride had recently “suddenly” asked them to change the name of the event to “Kaohsiung,” removing the word “Taiwan.”

“After careful evaluation, it is believed that if the event continues, it may harm the interests of Taiwan and the Taiwan gay community. Therefore, it is decided to terminate the project before signing the contract,” said the co-chair in a statement.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) helped organize a tripartite meeting with InterPride and Kaohsiung Pride on Nov. 16, 2021 during which the three parties agreed upon the name Taiwan, A-Ku told Focus Taiwan/CNA News English.

Despite this, InterPride subsequently announced in a letter dated July 26 that, based on a vote by the directors and supervisors, the event must be named either “WorldPride Kaohsiung” or “Kaohsiung WorldPride,” A-Ku said.

He also noted that InterPride’s assertion that it had suggested using the name “WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan” was “completely inconsistent with the facts.”

A-Ku added that the name “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” had been used throughout the entire bidding process from the beginning of 2021, including on application forms, plans, and other relevant documents.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement noting that the event would have been the first WorldPride event to be held in East Asia.

“Taiwan deeply regrets that InterPride, due to political considerations, has unilaterally rejected the mutually agreed upon consensus and broken a relationship of cooperation and trust, leading to this outcome,” the statement said adding;

“Not only does the decision disrespect Taiwan’s rights and diligent efforts, it also harms Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community and runs counter to the progressive principles espoused by InterPride.”

Taiwan had legalized same-sex marriage in 2019, “On May 17th, 2019 in Taiwan, Love Won,” tweeted President Tsai Ing-wen at the time. “We took a big step towards true equality, and made Taiwan a better country.”

The island nation’s recognition of same-sex marriage is a first for Asia, and Taiwan is proud of its reputation as a central bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism in Asia.

WorldPride 2025 Taiwan’s full statement:

Statement on Project Termination of Hosting WorldPride Taiwan 2025》

The WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee would like to express our sincere gratitude for all the generous support we have received since winning the bid to host WorldPride 2025 in Taiwan. After months of preparation and collaboration with various government departments and corporate enterprises, it is a great pity to announce that the project of WorldPride Taiwan 2025 has been terminated.

When discussing and negotiating the event contract’s terms and conditions, the WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee (consisting of Taiwan Pride and Kaohsiung Pride) was unable to reach a consensus with InterPride, the event licensor. There were major discrepancies between our stances on the event’s naming, understandings of Taiwan’s culture, and expectations of what a WorldPride event should look like.

In the back-and-forth discussions, InterPride repetitively raised their concerns and doubts about whether Taiwan has the capacity, economic and otherwise, to host an international event like WorldPride. This is despite our team consisting of highly competent Pride organizers who have successfully organized some of the largest Pride events in Asia. Although we have presented past data and relevant statistics to prove our track record, we were still unable to convince InterPride. However hard we have tried to cooperate, our efforts did not result in an equal and trusting working partnership with the event licensor.

The final straw that led the negotiation to a deadlock was the abrupt notice from InterPride, requiring the name of the event to change from “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” to “WorldPride Kaohsiung 2025”. This is despite the fact that the name “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” was used throughout the entire bidding process: From the bid application and the bid proposal evaluation to the voting process and the winner announcement back in 2021.

We had made it clear to InterPride that there are some significant reasons why we insist on using the name “WorldPride Taiwan 2025”. First, the name “Taiwan Pride” is of symbolic significance to the Taiwanese LGBTIQ+ community as it has been used for Taiwan’s first and still ongoing Pride parade since the first edition in 2003. It was not named after the city but the nation as a whole. Second, WorldPride Taiwan 2025 was planned to connect several Pride events and activities across Taiwan, with many cities, in addition to Kaohsiung, participating.

After the winner announcement, upon reading InterPride’s congratulatory letter which mistakenly named Taiwan as a region instead of a country, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) helped organize a tripartite meeting with InterPride and KH Pride on November 16 2021. In the meeting, the three parties (MOFA, InterPride, KH Pride) agreed on using “WorldPride Taiwan 2025” as the name for all the sequential events and activities. However, during the recent contract negotiation, InterPride suddenly made it a requirement that WorldPride 2025 can only be named after the host city rather than the country (“WorldPride Kaohsiung 2025” instead of “WorldPride Taiwan 2025”). This unexpected requirement essentially reneges on the previously made agreement.

In the face of many uncertainties such as InterPride’s inconsistent attitude toward the event naming and doubts about our team and the Taiwan market, we have to make the painful decision to terminate the project of hosting WorldPride 2025 in order to strive for the best interest of the LGBTIQ+ community in Taiwan. The WorldPride 2025 Preparation Committee will also resign to take responsibility for failing to host the event.

We would like to express our most profound appreciation to everyone who has supported us. We are especially grateful for the continuous assistance and resources provided by Taiwan’s Presidential Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We promise that the termination of hosting WorldPride Taiwan 2025 will not undermine our motivation to serve the LGBTIQ+ community. We will continue to promote Taiwan’s LGBTIQ+ culture worldwide.

The WorldPride 2025 Taiwan Preparation Committee

2022/08/12

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Mexico

U.S. Consulate warns Americans avoid travel to Tijuana as violence erupts

The U.S. Consulate General Tijuana: Officials are aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks, & heavy police activity in Tijuana

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Burning vehicle in Tijuana (Photo Credit: Screenshot Twitter video)

TIJUANA, Baja California, Mexico – The U.S. Consulate General Tijuana issued an alert to American citizens after threats and two days of violence by a regional drug cartel in this popular tourist destination south of San Diego. Officials also warned its personnel to shelter in place.

In a message the U.S. Consulate General Tijuana wrote that officials are aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks, and heavy police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Tecate. U.S. government employees have been instructed to shelter in place until further notice.

Baja California Governor Marina del Pilar Avila Olmeda tweeted: “We will apply all the strength of our government so that there is peace and we find those responsible for these attacks.”

Media outlets in San Diego and Baja California are reporting that the violence started Thursday in a Ciudad Juarez prison after the Sinaloa Cartel, once led by the infamous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, and a local group, Los Mexicles, began feuding. The riot left two dead and 16 injured before breaking out into the streets. At that time a shelter in place order was issued.

That violence has now spread to other parts of the country including Tecate, Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Mexicali, and Ensenada in Baja California.

On Friday, cartel soldiers set multiple vehicles on fire, set up multiple road blockades and engaged in shootouts with Mexican security forces. Residents of Tecate, Tijuana, Playas de Rosarito, Mexicali, and Ensenada are sharing videos of burnt vehicles in the street on various social media platforms.

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