Cuba’s first gay hotel reopens as human rights deteriorate


As members of the press arrived for a government-organised tour of a luxury hotel on the Cuban beach resort of Cayo Guillermo, they were greeted by a dance troupe in fishnet tights and high heels. Above the entrance, the rainbow flag, the international symbol of gay pride, fluttered in the warm Caribbean breeze. The Rainbow Hotel, described as Cuba’s first LGBTQ hotel, reopened in December. While guests enjoyed the five-star service by the pool or a walk along the pristine sands, Cuba has not always been so welcoming to the gay community. In the early part of communist leader Fidel Castro’s rule, homosexual men and women were sent to work camps for supposed “re-education”. Of course, since those dark days, attitudes on the island have markedly improved. The Cuban government and MGM Muthu Hotels, the company behind the Rainbow Hotel, say it exemplifies that change in attitude.

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