A Cuban minister who accepts gay marriages and a world known revolution-faithful musician hopeful that traveling permits for Cubans wishing to leave or travel to the island are finally eliminated, seem to be evidence of a new tolerant environment in the continent's longest lasting dictatorship.
The statements became public during a debate sponsored by interim president Raúl Castro, brother of ailing Fidel, to bring to light shortcomings and disappointments with the system and thus help to "deepen communism". "I see this as a transition period, not the first the revolution has gone through", admitted musician, song writer and singer Silvio Rodríguez who is well known for his support of the Castro regime. Culture minister Prieto was equally open minded regarding sexual diversity, which at one time was severely persecuted by the Cuban regime. "I believe lesbian, homosexual bonds could be perfectly legalized with out this becoming a cultural seism for Cuba", admitted candidly the minister. Prieto and Rodriguez participated in the inauguration in Havana's Museum of Fine Arts of a documentary film from the sixties when having long hair or exposing the Socialist macho and homophobic society of the time was not tolerated by the regime. "Those revolutionary errors which made life difficult for true revolutionaries were overcome, belong to the past, although some subsist", admitted Rodriguez. For example he would like to see Cubans travel with out so many restrictions. "Entry and exit permits should be entirely abolished", he underlined. Currently Cubans need visas to leave the island and are previously screened about their "revolutionary faith". Similarly for those Cubans overseas, they need visas and have to undergo a screening process, which the Castro regime denies.