Cuban President Raul Castro’s daughter led thousands of citizens in a street dance in central Havana on Saturday to promote gay rights.

Cuban Sex Education Center director Mariela Castro kicked off a programme of events promoting respect for freedom of sexual orientation by joining lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people for a carnival-style conga in central Havana.

Opening the Diversity is Natural conference a day before the World Day against Homophobia, Ms Castro called on ‘all Cuban people to participate so that the revolution can be deeper and include all the needs of the human being.’

After a panel discussion on Sexual Diversity and the Cuban Family, the National Centre for HIV/Aids prevention reported on their latest publicity campaigns.

Last year, a resolution of the Ministry of Public Health legalised the performing of sex change operations on transsexual people.