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Fidel Castro: Blame Me For Cuba’s Persecution of Queers

If anyone is responsible (for the persecution), it’s me. I’m not going to place the blame on others. … We had so many and such terrible problems, problems of life or death In those moments I was not able to deal with that matter (of homosexuals). I found myself immersed, principally, in the Crisis of October (Cuban Missile Crisis), in the war, in policy questions.

—Fidel Castro, accepting blame for labeling Cuban gays “counterrevolutionaries” and shipping many off to work camps, and insisting it is not the fault of the state’s Communist Party at large while trying to explain why he let the discrimination take place [via]

By:           JD
On:           Aug 31, 2010
Tagged: ,

  • 28 Comments
    • L.
      L.

      He’s really getting senile if he starts readily admitting the truth.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      Maybe he’s taking responsibility because he’s proud that he was responsible?

      Aug 31, 2010 at 4:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      Ok you finally admit your government totrured Gays for decades sending them to “work” (slave) camps………now fuck off and die……..

      Aug 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shaun Azzopardi
      Shaun Azzopardi

      @David: The language used doesn’t imply that.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John (CA)
      John (CA)

      @David:

      Castro has voiced regret that his policies resulted in anti-gay persecution before. But this is the first time he has accepted (some) personal responsibility for those atrocities. Previously, he had blamed the homophobic attacks on the “chaos” of the 1960s and implied that rogue elements within the regime carried out the purges without his authorization. From these comments, I think it is safe to say that he hasn’t completely abandoned that position. Though at least he isn’t pretending he knew nothing anymore. It is still far from a full admission of guilt, but this is the closest LGBT Cubans have gotten – and probably will get – to an apology from him.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      To those so quick to hit the thumbs down on #3:

      “The concentration camps were built in isolated areas of the province of Camagüey. They were like Hitler’s camps, but without crematoriums. They have the electrified barbed wire fences, guards with machine guns and police dogs, etc. Something never seen before in Cuba’s history.

      Beginning in November 1965, people already classified were summoned to the camps. They arrived by train, bus, truck and other police and military vehicles. And so began the humiliation, suffering, torture and hard labor for those thousands of unfortunate men and boys. Many committed suicide while others died as a result of hunger and disease – with no medical attention – torture and execution. Many suffered solitary confinement, beating, rape and mutilation. The traumatized survivors remember that in the UMAP, “they never received humane treatment.”

      Use the googles as I did and you see lots of describing what the Gays faced under that vile old scumbag…….

      Aug 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: You should do some reading besides garbage press releases from the CIA. The only Konzentrationslager remaining in Cuba is on the US base at Guantanamo. The only government sponsored kidnapping and torture is being done by the US military in contravention of international treaties.

      Castro’s brother, Raul Castro Ruz, current party/state boss was a member of the PSP, the Cuban Stalinist party that followed the Moscow ‘line’ before the Revolution. He was probably a key factor in promoting the regimes homophobia.

      Peter Tatchell explains “When Cuba adopted Soviet-style communism it also adopted Soviet-style prejudice and puritanism. Ever since Stalin promoted the ideology of “the socialist family” and recriminalized gay sex in 1934, communist orthodoxy dictated that homosexuality was a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”.

      That repression, but not the homophobia, ended during the 1970′s. It still has echoes in Cuban law that will have to be repealed before any real progress can be made. We have to demand that the government and the CCP launch an education campaign against homophobia and admit their own guilt in pandering to it.

      They’ll have to establish clear legal guidelines for total emancipation and repeal several anti-gay laws, among them Article 299: “pederastia con violencia”. It makes illegal an undefined offence that includes consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” prohibits public touching, fondling, kissing and cruising.

      These laws are similar to bigoted laws on the books in the EU and the US and that are hardly to the credit of a state or party that aims to be liberators and leaders. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a new policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.

      Cubans dance in the streets of Havana at a carnival-style rally to draw attention to the issues affecting gays and lesbians
      SF Sentinel

      Aug 31, 2010 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHIP1218
      CHIP1218

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS:

      The truth hurts the most. The people on the left are assholes, the people on the right are assholes. Things aren’t always black and white, but godforbid you say that phrase – someone thinks you’re being racist or excluding the other colors!

      There are gays on here who are going to defend Cuba because the USA put an economic embargo on it and is being a big bully. You have Queers for Palestine, soon you will have Queers for Castro/Cuba!

      Aug 31, 2010 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ^^^^^^^ You should do some reading besides garbage press releases from the CIA. The only Konzentrationslager remaining in Cuba is on the US base at Guantanamo. The only government sponsored kidnapping and torture is being done by the US military in contravention of international treaties.

      Castro’s brother, Raul Castro Ruz, current party/state boss was a member of the PSP, the Cuban Stalinist party that followed the Moscow ‘line’ before the Revolution. He was probably a key factor in promoting the regimes homophobia.

      Peter Tatchell explains “When Cuba adopted Soviet-style communism it also adopted Soviet-style prejudice and puritanism. Ever since Stalin promoted the ideology of “the socialist family” and recriminalized gay sex in 1934, communist orthodoxy dictated that homosexuality was a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”.

      That repression, but not the homophobia, ended during the 1970′s. It still has echoes in Cuban law that will have to be repealed before any real progress can be made. We have to demand that the government and the CCP launch an education campaign against homophobia and admit their own guilt in pandering to it.

      They’ll have to establish clear legal guidelines for total emancipation and repeal several anti-gay laws, among them Article 299: “pederastia con violencia”. It makes illegal an undefined offence that includes consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” prohibits public touching, fondling, kissing and cruising.

      These laws are similar to bigoted laws on the books in the EU and the US and that are hardly to the credit of a state or party that aims to be liberators and leaders. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a new policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert from ATL
      Robert from ATL

      @CHIP1218:

      Well, I am a queer “for palestine” and a queer “for cuba” though I don’t know what that means. That just because Israel is marginally better in the gay rights department doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. The Cuban embargo is nonsense economic terrorism on Cubans and you are hurting all Cubans including Cuban gays as well for no reason whatsoever.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
    • MiKem
      MiKem

      Don’t worry, we do blame you!

      Aug 31, 2010 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • skzip888
      skzip888

      His support is drying up and he’s not getting any younger.

      Scapegoating the Gay community was convenient as hell back in the 1950′s, even if it did exploit the paternalistic prejudices his party claimed to transcend. Now it’s less convenient, and he’s making a big show about, supposedly, changing his colors. I doubt any sort of human rights boon will follow.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      I’ll say one thing: He has taken more responsibility for the treatment of gays than we’ll ever hear from the Catholic Church or others on the religious right.

      Aug 31, 2010 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjr101
      tjr101

      Where is Bill Perdue to speak of this? Socialism anyone?

      Aug 31, 2010 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alan brickman
      alan brickman

      Che was the one who set up the camps….wanna wear him on your shirts and belt buclkes now???…..

      Aug 31, 2010 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin Murray
      Martin Murray

      I condemn Castro for his persecution of gay people.
      I condemn the USA for its persecution of Cuban people through its absurd and inhuman trade embargo.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 4:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Martin Murray
      Martin Murray

      By the way before we get into the typically dreary ‘Cuba is evil because they humiliated us’ rant by the USA, let’s remember a few things.

      Cuba decriminalised homosexuality in 1979. When did the Supreme Court in the US decriminalise homosexuality.

      And what was life like for a gay American in the US in the 1960′s. They weren’t sent to slave camps. They were simply sent to prison were they not?

      Sep 1, 2010 at 4:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott in NYC
      Scott in NYC

      Castro’s persecution of gays is just one of so many human atrocities committed by this vile sack of shit. He’s sent political dissidents to the gulags. Most of his country lives in squalor so hopeless and repressive that people are constantly hurling themselves into the ocean and risking their lives to leave it. Cubans lucky enough to make it here are by and large hugely anti-Castro. The Cubans still stuck in that hellhole are likely anti-Castro but do not want to risk going to prison for the rest of their lives for voicing that opinion. He is an enemy of every real and imaginable liberal principle (“persecuting” gays being but one example) yet it is leftists (Moore, Penn, Oliver Stone) who praise this murderous abmomination. Figure that one out. I’m still trying to.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • robert in nyc
      robert in nyc

      I don’t doubt or deny the evil perpetrated by Castro but I wouldn’t mind betting that Cuba will eventually follow Argentina’s lead…another Latin American country with a violent past and a human rights violator, by allowing same-sex marriage. Now what an embarrassment that will be for the U.S.

      In regard to the trade embargo, I find it hypocritical of the U.S. government when it trades openly and freely with China, arguably the worst offender on human rights violations in the history of the world. Virtually every commodity sold in the U.S. is made in China. We lambast Cuba and impose sanctions on them yet we sell our economy to China. Its beyond hypocrisy and the doublestandard.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • walterlx
      walterlx

      One of the advantages, as well as one of the DISadvantages of being the world’s most documented political leader is that your comments, for better or for worse, are available to be studied by anyone interested. For years I’ve collected a raft of such commentaries, going back as far as 1965, on a single web-page which I’m trying to update as often as possible.

      On that page readers will find both extensive quotes by Fidel Castro on homosexuality, and commentaries, pro- and con- about Fidel, Cuba and LGBT people. In addition, I’ve included many original translations from Spanish to English of Cuban documents, chapters of Cuban sexuality texts and so on.

      http://www.walterlippmann.com/lgbt-cuba.html

      I also direct a Yahoo news group with fifteen hundred subscribers where news of the island is tracked constantly. For details on the newsgroup, please see:

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaNews/

      Sep 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt
      Matt

      While I condemn the treatment of LGBT cubans under Castro, if we’re going to play the blame game about who is worse with LGBT rights, then lets not forget that after the end of WWII homosexual men and women remained classified as criminals in West Germany, and some were forced to carry out the remainder of their sentence until 1969, even those who were released did not qualify for reparation. Only in 2002 did the German government formally apologize to LGBT people.
      But, as Sherry Wolf points out in her book “Sexuality and Socialism” (which contains flaws, like any history book, but is an informative read), socialism has had a long and complicated history with the LGBT community, but in many ways socialists have been in the forefront of LGBT rights (as early as 1880s, and also in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution up until Stalin took power). Modern U.S. socialists were among the ranks of many protests against Prop 8. Also, during the sit in at the Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago, union members also demonstrated in rallies against marriage discrimination. Our way in keeping the LGBT rights a priority of socialist groups is to participate with them, just as when we participate we support other groups in their struggle.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BillPerdue
      BillPerdue

      People should try reading something other than state Dept handouts and the gusano press. The only concentration camp in Cuba is on the US base at Guantanamo. The only government sponsored kidnapping and torture is being done by the US military in contravention of international treaties.

      Castro’s brother, Raul Castro Ruz, current party/state boss was a member of the PSP, the Cuban Stalinist party that followed the Moscow ‘line’ before the Revolution. He was probably a key factor in promoting the regimes homophobia.

      Peter Tatchell explains “When Cuba adopted Soviet-style communism it also adopted Soviet-style prejudice and puritanism. Ever since Stalin promoted the ideology of “the socialist family” and recriminalized gay sex in 1934, communist orthodoxy dictated that homosexuality was a “bourgeois decadence” and “capitalist degeneration”.

      That repression ended in the 1970′s but it still has echoes in Cuban law that will have to be repealed before any real progress can be made. We have to demand that the government and the CCP launch an education campaign against homophobia and admit their own guilt in pandering to it.

      They’ll have to establish clear legal guidelines for total emancipation and repeal several anti-gay laws, among them Article 299: “pederastia con violencia”. It makes illegal an undefined offence that includes consensual sex and mandates penalties of from eight years imprisonment to death. Another, Article 303a: “importune a otro con requerimientos homosexuales,” or creating a “public scandal” prohibits public touching, fondling, kissing and cruising.

      These laws are similar to bigoted laws on the books in the EU and the US and that are hardly to the credit of a state or party that aims to be liberators and leaders. They need to be repealed and be replaced by a new policy that emphasizes total acceptance of our rights.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Walter Lippmann
      Walter Lippmann

      Here is a complete English translation of Fidel’s interview:

      LA JORNADA
      August 31, 2010
      Fidel Castro admits responsibility for the
      persecution of homosexuals in Cuba years ago
      http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs3080.html

      Sep 1, 2010 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      It will be interesting to see who attends Castro’s funeral.

      Sep 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @Michael: Probably lots of men. Many of them holding hands!

      Sep 2, 2010 at 10:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • L.
      L.

      @Michael: (Or even kissing on the mouth, Soviet-style!)

      Sep 2, 2010 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Queer Supremacist
      Queer Supremacist

      @Robert from ATL: Well, I am a queer “for palestine” and a queer “for cuba” though I don’t know what that means.

      It means you support governments that actively persecute gays. Therefore you are a traitor to gays and the blood of gay victims of the illegitimate Cuban and “Palestinian” governments are on your hands.

      And you admit Israel is “marginally better on gay rights” but that “it means nothing to [you]“? So it means your support for dictatorships trumps your being gay.

      This is part of why the embargo on Cuba is justified. There needs to be an embargo on all anti-gay countries.

      And as for Castro, just die already you fucking commie breeder! Collectively, you fucking monsters killed more people than Hitler and turned every nation you touched into a living hell. Any gay people who support you or try to rationalize your crimes by dodging the issue and bringing up lesser crimes by Western governments should have their head examined.

      Sep 5, 2010 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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