Fidel Castro apologizes for sending cuban gays to labor camps, Foreign Policy says he deserves ‘plaudits’ 

After years of sending homosexuals to reeducation camps where they performed hard labor (and presumably learned about the glories of a state-sponsored health care system), Fidel Castro recently apologized for the persecution of gays in Cuba. According to Foreign Policy:

Continuing his image rehabilitation campaign, ex-Cuban President Fidel Castro called the rampant homophobia in the initial stages of his revolution a “great injustice.”

During an interview with La Jornada, Castro said that while he was not prejudiced against gays, the blame for the homophobic atmosphere lay only with himself. He claims that he was “too busy” with other matters — such as trying to survive U.S. assassination attempts — to deal with the discriminatory policies.

In the same interview, Castro also claimed that he nearly died four years ago, and that he wished to stop what he believed to be an imminent nuclear war between Iran, the United States, and Israel.

Cuban homosexuals were branded as counterrevolutionaries and sent to detention camps for the first decade of Castro’s rule. In 1970, homosexual acts were decriminalized. (Cuba now provides free sex changes.)

I had a feeling some in the media might be overeager to forgive Castro, but some basic questioning of the official version of the Cuban government’s claims might be in order. For one thing, persecution of gays appears to have persisted well past the “initial stages” of the Cuban revolution. There were reports of police crackdowns on gays in 2004 and 2001, and good travel information is sketchy, but it appears the police still regularly shut down gay clubs. But here’s the kicker from Foreign Policy:

It’s a bit late, but Castro deserves plaudits for his words.

Plaudits?! Castro deserves a jail cell for what he’s done to the Cuban people. And before more members of the media trip over themselves to laud Castro, they might remember gay marriage is still not legal in Cuba. Maybe that will be the thing finally causes liberal America to stop defending his despotic regime.


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Mark Hemingway

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