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Cuba does 20 sex-change operations

Posted on Oct 29, 10:03AM | IANS

The number of Cuban transsexuals who have had sex-change surgery has risen to 20, an official said.

Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro and director of the National Center for Sex Education, or Cenesex, said that of the 37 people identified as transsexuals in the country, "20 have benefited from genital adaptation surgery", according to a note posted on the official Cenesex web site.

Castro announced the figures during the 3rd Transidentity, Gender and Culture Symposium in Havana, with the participation of Cuba, France and Argentina.

In 2008 the Cuban government passed a ministerial decree permitting sex-change operations in Cuba, which had only one precedent, a man-to-woman surgery in 1988.

That same year it was announced that some 30 transsexuals could benefit from the procedure for free if they wanted it, which launched on the island the practice of masculinization and feminization surgeries before sex-change operations, provided by a team counselled by Belgian specialists.