El Brigadista
page 3

from Jump Cut, no. 35, April 1990, pp. 37-49
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1990, 2006


1. Since the successful completion of the 1962 Literacy Campaign, Cuba has maintained the status of the only fully literate national population in Latin America — an achievement only currently matched by the literacy advances in Nicaragua.

2. Allen Young, Gays Under the Cuban Revolution (San Francisco: Grey Fox Press, 1981), pp. 113.

3. "…Cuba's ley de peligrosidad (literally, 'the law of dangerousness'), a vaguely worded statute that provides four to six years for 'antisocial behavior.' The law is invoked against gamblers, drunkards, vagrants, prostitutes and other 'dangerous' elements, but its chief targets are the homosexuals." (Young, Gays, 52).

Fidel Castro articulates the general Cuban policy on homosexuality in Castro's Cuba, Cuba's Fidel, by Lee Lockwood (New York: Vintage Books, 1969), p. 107:

"…we would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true Revolutionary, a true Communist militant. A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant Communist must be."

4. Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (New York: Basic Books, 1962), p. 88.

5. E. A. Lacey, "Latin America: Myths and Realities," Gay Sunshine Journal, 40/41 (1979), 23.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. The distinction must be made between the following: (a) Fidel Castro as maker of history, as active consciousness in the rewriting of history and enunciator of the codes of Cuba's cultural identity; (b) Fidel Castro as symbolic figure in the linguistic currency of that re-writing, as code of that cultural enunciation. It is according to the latter designation that I refer to the image of Castro.

9. Shoshana Felman, "Women and Madness: The Critical Phallacy," Diacritics (Winter, 1975), 3.

10. Excerpt from the "1971 Declaration of the Cuban Cultural Congress," as cited in Herbert L. Matthews, Revolution in Cuba (New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1975), p. 333:

"As for homosexual deviations, they bring up the question of social pathology. It is our principle not to admit its manifestations in any way. Its propagation must be avoided but this complex problem should be resolved on the basis of a profound study which will indicate the measures to be taken…"

"On the subject of homosexuality, the Commission arrived at the conclusion that it was inadmissible that under the pretext of 'artistic talent,' notorious homosexuals should gain influence over our youth…"

"Finally, severe penalties will be applied in the case of the corruption of minors, of systematic depravity and of incorrigible antisocial attitudes."

11. Lacey, "Latin America," p. 23.

12. Excerpt from thesis on "The Role of the Family in Socialism," discussed at the 1974 Cuban Party Congress, as cited in Margaret Randall, Women in Cuba: Twenty Years Later (New York: Smyrna Press, 1981), p. 104.

13. Lourdes Arguelles and B. Ruby Rich, "Homosexuality, Homophobia, and Revolution: Notes toward an Understanding of the Cuban Lesbian and Gay Experience, Part I," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 11, No. 6 (1985). See also Lourdes Artuelles and B. Ruby Rich, "The Easy Convenience of Cuban Homophobia," New York Native (Oct. 10-23, 1983), 34-35. Ruby Rich, "Bay of Pix," American Film (July-Aug. 1984), 57-59.