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Gay rights in Cuba have come a long way since the early years of the Communist revolution, when countless people were marginalized or forced to flee because of their sexual orientation. Now, the island’s LGBT community is pinning its hopes on new leader Miguel Diaz-Canel to fight their corner in the battle for equal rights — with same-sex unions the ultimate goal. The first Cuban president from outside the Castro family in over 40 years, Diaz-Canel was groomed within the Communist Party and was little known to the wider world before he assumed top office last month. At home, however, the 58-year-old is known for having signalled support for the LGBT community when he was a provincial secretary for the party.

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