Mariela Castro

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Castro and the second or maternal family name is Espín.
Mariela Castro
Mariela Castro.jpg
Mariela Castro addressing the Latin America plenary of the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights in Montreal.
Born (1962-07-27) July 27, 1962 (age 54)
Havana, Cuba
Spouse(s) Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann
Paolo Titolo
Children 3
Parent(s) Raúl Castro
Vilma Espín

Mariela Castro Espín (born July 27, 1962) is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education in Havana and an activist for LGBT rights in Cuba.


Mariela Castro at the 2010 Pride parade in Hamburg

She is the daughter of Cuban president Raúl Castro and feminist and revolutionary Vilma Espín as well as the niece of former president Fidel Castro. She has a brother, Alejandro Castro Espín.

Her group campaigns for effective AIDS prevention as well as recognition and acceptance of LGBT human rights. In 2005, she proposed a project to allow transgender people to receive sex reassignment surgery and change their legal gender. The measure became law in June 2008 which allows sex change surgery for Cubans without charge.[1]

Mariela Castro is president of the Cuban Multidisciplinary Centre for the Study of Sexuality, president of the National Commission for Treatment of Disturbances of Gender Identity, member of the Direct Action Group for Preventing, Confronting, and Combatting AIDS, and an executive member of the World Association for Sexual Health (WAS). She is also the director of the journal Sexología y Sociedad, a magazine of Sexology edited by her own National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX).

She has published 13 scholarly articles and nine books.[2]

She is also a sitting member of the National Assembly of People's Power.[3] When the assembly voted in 2014 to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, Castro opposed the legislation because it did not also include protection on the basis of gender identity,[3] and became possibly the first legislator in the body's history ever to vote against a piece of legislation.[3]

Mariela is now married to Italian Paolo Titolo, General Manager of Amorim Negócios Internacionais, S.A. in Cuba,[4] and has two children with him, and a daughter from her previous marriage with the Chilean former FPMR member Juan Gutiérrez Fischmann.[5]

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