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      Viva Cuba! Viva Pride!
      End the U.S. Blockade on Cuba Now!

      By Janine Solanki

      For years Cuba has been at the forefront of fighting homophobia and transphobia, building a more inclusive society and advancing the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and more). This last year the Cuban people made an important and historic advancement with the approval of Cuba’s new Families Code, which was passed into law with massive participation of millions of the Cuban population. You can learn more about this revolutionary legislation in the Fire This Time article, “Why are we marching with Cuban flags and signs at Vancouver Pride?” on page 6.

      2SLGBTQIA+ Rights are Human Rights!

      Pride season in Vancouver kicked off on June 24 with the East Side Pride Festival, where VCSC had an information table and a great afternoon talking to festivalgoers interested in learning more about Cuba! In online activities, VCSC was also part of two successful webinars on June 28 and June 29 to celebrate Cuba’s International Days Against Homophobia & Transphobia, as reported in the last issue of Fire This Time.

      On August 4, the Vancouver Trans Pride March marched through the streets of East Vancouver, with participants holding signs and chanting to demand healthcare, dignity, and equal rights for all Trans, TwoSpirit, Genderqueer, Intersex people. In the mix were Cuba solidarity activists holding a banner proclaiming, “Cuba Says: Sexual Diversity is not Dangerous, Homophobia and Transphobia are!”

      On August 5, the annual Dyke March marched down East Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, with signs and flags celebrating Lesbian and all 2SLGBTQIA+ pride held high! The march’s destination was the Dyke March Festival at Grandview Park, where thousands gathered for an afternoon of music, speakers and an info fair. VCSC had a table busy with festival goers who stopped to discuss all things Cuba, to pick up literature about Cuba and to sign postcards demanding U.S. President Biden remove Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List!

      Rounding out a weekend of Pride festivities, on August 6, the Vancouver Pride Parade took over the streets of Downtown Vancouver in an explosion of colour, sounds and exuberant crowds! VCSC marched in the parade for the 15th year, complete with a decorated vehicle, Pride, Trans and Cuban flags, and banners letting the crowds know that “Cuba Says LGBTQIA+ Rights are Human Rights!” VCSC organizers and supporters danced through the streets in matching pink t-shirts with the demand “Lift the U.S. Blockade on Cuba!” While parading past over 3 km of enthusiastic crowds, activists handed out hundreds of Cuba solidarity buttons and newsletters!

      For the first time the Vancouver Pride Festival spanned two days, and VCSC joined in the festivities with an info table on August 5 and August 6. Cuba solidarity activists spent the afternoons distributing VCSC newsletters and talking to festivalgoers about what Cuba is doing to advance 2SLGBTQIA+ rights!

      VCSC will also join New Westminster for their dynamic Pride festival, on Saturday August 19. If you are in the area, make sure to visit the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba table!

      Join us!

      There are many ways to support and defend Cuba and to learn about how Cuba is leading the fight against homophobia and transphobia! To find out about upcoming events and actions in Vancouver and beyond, visit www.vancubasolidarity.com or follow Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba on Facebook @vancubasolidarity and Twitter and Instagram @VanCuba_VCSC

      Follow Janine on Twitter: @janinesolanki

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