62nd Anniversary of the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution

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Revolution and Feminism as a Common Factor

2021-03-05 12:53:29 / web@radiorebelde.icrt.cu / JC Caballero Puig

Revolution and Feminism as a Common Factor

I've never seen Gaby (Gabriela Mejías Gispert), but I've been talking to her for months. I was fixed on his smile when he sent me a photo of her to support the interview. Then I discovered her beauty as an honest and close sister as we know her.  

We know each other from Telegram. There, we discussed politics, feminisms, fundamentalisms; we even conspired to continue working for the motherland we share, Cuba.

Tell me a little more about yourself, so I can introduce you ...

“I am a psychologist by training, I belonged to the tenth generation of emerging teachers, of which I am proud because it trained me and THAT left me great loves: those first students, who now belong to the university world and with whom I continue to maintain a beautiful bond.” She said.

“Teacher in the Gender, Society and Public Policies program of FLACSO, Argentina. I am almost 100% from Havana city although I have a very close family in Santiago province and I love my entire island.” She said.

“I´m a Silvio songwriter fan from the cradle, and a believer that the future is built by those of us who believe in transforming and revolutionizing without losing the essence or negotiating principles.” She said.

Gaby is a Cuban who migrated. She has lived in Argentina for 6 years.

"Almost by chance of life I came to live when I was old, to see other looks," She tells me.

“I think that living in another country forces you to think things from another angle, to integrate into a different social structure, with other codes, ways of seeing everyday life, processes. It implies positioning yourself from other places to understand even the ways and own customs.”She said.

“Although not for that reason alien, to who you are, as many think, being a migrant prints another vision on the way you face the world.” She pointed out.

“On the other hand, it also reaffirms convictions, ways of thinking and acting that I have as a Cuban.” She said.

“That is how it all begins, and then training and experience have led me to understand that what affects us is very similar in its base: patriarchy.” She highlighted.
“It led me to continue discussing and transforming, militant in different training spaces and in daily life; Well, that's what it's about to achieve a world a little fairer for women and diversities, from the place that touches me.”She said.
“As for Cuba, I never left, I'm sorry; I still have my card, my nationality, my friends. What's more! I have created new ones (some of them responsible for that beautiful Tángana in Trillo Park). And I try to always be connected with the debates, the changes and the disputes.”She said.
“Clearly whenever you do not have the day to day on your feet something escapes from you, or rather you cannot see things exactly the same as those who inhabit it daily; but I think it is a mutual relationship and that is also what it is about. We are an Island, but we do not have to be isolated.” She added.
“This search for not moving away never led me to want to participate from the virtual space as much as possible. Given my training, I am much closer to looking at almost everything from a gender perspective. I think we are changing, for the better. The way in which we have opened ourselves to thinking about different debates in recent years confirms this. Undoubtedly we still have a lot to learn, but I consider that this is a first step no less.” She highlighted.
“The Campaña Evoluciona (the Campaign Evolves) seems to me to be one of the most significant examples. The new voices of women in official newspapers and digital magazines, the plurality of experiences that are shared from the LGTBIQ + movement, the openness to black and decolonial feminisms ... in short, I think that the electronic networks are a beginning, they gave way to others of a social nature which have placed shared feelings on the agenda that were previously believed to be particular ones.”She pointed out.
“I believe that the greatest challenge will be to be able to build a political and social agenda that is capable of containing and listening to this diversity of voices that are expressed today.” She said.

“For this, the upcoming changes in the penal code and in the family code will be essential ones; which only suppose the constitutional and legal support of a much more important issue that will be to achieve a substantial change at the social level.” She said.
“One thing without the other would not go very far, claims are not enough if they are not channeled, just as the rights granted do not imply immediate social change.” She said.
“We have the privilege of having a fairer starting base thanks to the Revolution, but we cannot forget that without citizen participation that is nothing more than that, the starting point to continue changing “what must be changed”, without losing ever our goal, which will always be to create more Revolution.” She highlighted.

“It implies leaving the comfort zone and beginning to have a multinationality.” She said.
“In these times I began to look beyond the Nation-States and to take the magnitude of the need to think as Latin American and Caribbean being, perhaps because although I made many friends / sisters from that country, who welcomed me as a family, I was much closer to friends from Venezuela, Colombia ... that I came across, because there is a much stronger shared identity.” She said.
“We also share the nefarious legacies of colonialism, neoliberalism, and blockades. That made me notice the need to think as a region and I am convinced that it will be the only way to strengthen our nations.
The need to resume mutual aid projects, such as ALBA, are essential. And in future times, I believe that it is an agenda that, in addition to being necessary, is imposed on the global circumstances.”She said.
“Feminism brought me closer to these women, from here and elsewhere: revolution and feminism have everything in common.”She said.
“Many of them I met in women's encounters or simply through networks of friends who introduced us to each other.” She added.
“The feminist movement in Argentina has an important role for the region, due to the impulse and massiveness in campaigns to achieve rights such as the recent decriminalization of abortion, equal marriage, the gender identity law, among others.”She said.
“When I arrived, I could not understand the absurdity that it supposed that you could go to prison for the simple fact of not wanting a pregnancy, I would never have understood the total vulnerability that women could feel in a country where not only that was possible, but also They currently have almost as many femicide as there are days in 2021.”She said.
“The sisterhood of feminism gave me shelter and my only answer could be and is, to make my friends' struggle my own.”She said.

What do you think are the challenges for Women in Cuba?
“Are you saying in Cuba? If you ask me, I would like us to be able to discuss and articulate these transformations in a political way with greater citizen participation.”She said.
“I believe that women and diversities need more prominence in the debates about the Cuba we want. I consider that this is also a challenge to think about grassroots organizations and how to build. I would like the FMC to create meetings to listen to us, to share what happens to us, and that we can build a transforming agenda based on it, with a more proactive role.” She highlighted.
“We have representative equality in the Assembly and, without a doubt, the young and not so young voices are being noticed; however, this has not led to a greater number of speeches dealing with these issues. In large part it happens because many of the women who are part of the related federation also share different job responsibilities and even membership; It is very difficult to think of a transformation agenda without having the training, time and resources to do so.” She said.
“We are a healthy society, almost naive, compared to what happens in the rest of our Latin America, but not without inequalities. “She said.
“Our complexities are our own ones and as such we must solve them, but learning from what happens around us is essential because we live in a globalized era where nothing that happens at the country level is alien to the processes that take place outside our borders.” She said.
“I believe that the constitutional referendum was key in our political process, bringing to the scene disputes that we believed were not possible in our Cuba. It also allowed a more sincere dialogue between citizens and our leaders, with nodal points on what we believe is necessary and unappealable.” She said.
“I hope that equal marriage will be a fact in the future, as well as that a legal, political, and citizen network will be generated to fight the gender-based violence, in all its forms.” She said.
By Claudia Rafaela Ortiz Alba

© Radio Rebelde - 2020
© Radio Rebelde - 2020