Cuba authorizes sex-change surgery

Cuba authorizes sex-change surgeryHavana  - Cuba officially authorized sex-change surgery, which will be offered free of charge, sources at the National Centre for Sexual Education (Cenesex) told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Friday.

The move by Cenesex, which is headed by Cuban President Raul Castro's daughter, sexologist Mariela Castro, is part of the framework of a programme for the "integral" care of transsexuals, the sources said.

The resolution by the Public Health Ministry is operational but has yet to be made public. The document was signed earlier this week by Public Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer, and stipulates the "creation of a specific health centre for transsexual people," the sources added.

Mariela Castro herself said recently that a 28-person waiting list for sex-change operations has already been approved in Cuba. The only instance of such surgery so far in Cuba, back in 1988, got so much criticism that the programme was called off.

Cuban specialists are currently preparing alongside Belgian colleagues, and it was not known when the surgery would start to be performed on the communist island, Mariela Castro said as she celebrated the International Day Against Homophobia last month. (dpa)