A Caudillo's Own Story

Via Washington Examiner columnist Mark Hemingway comes news that Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who once denounced homosexual Cubans as “faggots” (maricones) who served the interests of imperialism, has “taken blame” for his revolution’s “excesses” against gay Cubans, which once included sending sexual counterrevolutionaries to prison camps. After offering a string of lame excuses—he was too busy thwarting American plots to stop sending his citizens to prison for being gay—Castro stopped short of actually apologizing.

As Hemingway notes, Castro’s persecution of gays (and black Cubans) hardly stopped in the 1970s, as this Reuters story suggests, with gay bars routinely shut down by the state security service and organizers of a 2008 gay pride march thrown in jail. But for this non-apology, designed to burnish his foul legacy, Foreign Policy magazine says that while Castro is "a bit late," he nevertheless "deserves plaudits.” No he doesn’t. Nor did Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet deserves plaudits for his 1999 letter “lamenting” (and not apologizing) those killed during his reign—which, incidentally, no one in the media was willing to grant. And rightly so.

Improper Conduct (Mauvaise Conduite), Néstor Almendro’s affecting film on the persecution of gays and anti-regime artists, is on Youtube in twelve parts.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Maricones means "faggots?"

    Shit. I thought all my hispanic buddies were referring to me as "shrimp" all that time. Looks like I need to find some new friends

  • ||

    "No maricone"

  • ||

    No, they are real friends. Oddly enough in Latinamerica macho men will refer to their buddies as maricón or marica . In Mexico they will call you cabrón, male sheep, that is a man that allow s his wife to sleep with other.

  • Mosquevite Sandwich||

    Who cares? They have kick ass health care in Cuba. Who gives a shit about civil and economic liberty when you have free health care!? Viva la Cuba.

  • Fire Tiger||

    Of course, Cuba now provides free sex changes.

  • Fire Tiger||

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Give it < 10 years before Congress mandates that US insurance companies cover addadicktomes and choppadickoffames.

  • PantsFan||

    Don't forget the outstanding literacy rates.

  • ||

    How does Cuba stack up against Amerika, the great socialist cess pool, as regards mass murder perpetrated on foreign soil?

    Ever notice how Moynihan's targets tend to be the declared enemies of the biggest, nastiest, most violent nation state?

  • Meh||

    A couple more centuries at it and maybe we will match your idol, Nazi Germany.

  • ||

    Once again, you lie.

    You sure can argue with facts and logic?

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Punctuation is a bitch?

  • Meh||

    I just like to remind people that you aren't a libertarian - you are just mad that your brand of fascist authoritarians don't have power.

  • ||

    Meh, remind people with some evidence to support your proposition. Just go ahead. Demonstrate that I support socialism, statism, militarism, love of authority.

    Yeah, I know I like to play with troll dolts like you, but its fun.

  • ||

    So is libertymike saying Castro shouldn't be criticized for persecuting Gays?

  • ||

    No. Castro is a totalitarian devil.

  • Leftist Douchebags||

    Not liberal = fascist authoritarian!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Meh, you need to a) get rid of the "right-of-center = Nazi" meme and b) go fuck yourself.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    It's time to replace the hyperbole button on your keyboard; I hear it shrieking in agony.

  • DRM||

    How does Cuba stack up . . . as regards mass murder perpetrated on foreign soil?

    Castro's Cuba, despite its small population (only 11 million now), is a world leader in killing people on foreign soil.

    Cuba maintained the second-largest armed forces in Latin America (exceed only by Brazil) during the Cold War. These troops were deployed and engaged in combat in Angola, DR Congo, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Nicaragua, and Somalia. Cuban military advisors also were in North Vietnam during that war, and the full extent of their actions there is unknown. Cuban supplies, training, and advisors also supported nearly every leftist insurgency in Latin America for three decades.

  • JohnD||

    DRM, that's for pointing out what a fool "LibertyMike" is.

    He needs to change his name to "Joseph Gobbels"

  • ||

    JohnD-

    Bottom line: Are you arguing that Cuba has committed more murders on foreign soil than the US in their respective histories?

    The person who asseverates that one is a fool for posting the truth that the US has perpetrated far more murder on foreign soil than Cuba is far more suited for a Goebbleship.

  • ||

    Verdammt nochmal! Wie oft muss ich es noch sagen: 'Josef' mit einem 'f'!

  • ||

    Verdammt nochmal! Wie oft muss ich es noch sagen: 'Josef' mit einem 'f'!

  • ||

    It's not just the literacy - their diction is great, too. At least, no one speaks with a lisp.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Or walks funny, or dyes their hair blonde. ¡Viva la Revolución!

  • Leftist Douchebags||

    We'd GLADLY trade civil and economic liberties for Cuban healthcare!

  • ||

    I admit, I'm curious to know how Castro thinks poofters "serve the interests of imperialism."

  • ||

    I'm thinking something about stereotypes of upper class Brits.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    I thought upper-class brits were effete socialists... something like radical-chic without the bother of revolutionary riff-raff, no?

  • ||

    No, those are middle class pretenders.

  • ||

    Well, there you have it. James Lee was incapable of changing the channel when "Jon & Kate Plus 8" came on, and Fidel Castro was incapable of changing the damned channel when "Brideshead Revisited" was on.

  • ¢||

    I admit, I'm curious to know how Castro thinks poofters "serve the interests of imperialism."

    Two words: "Ahoy, sailor!"

  • ||

    Since MNG will surely be here to cheer for Castro, here's me pwning him:

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/09.....nt_1887452

  • BakedPenguin||

    I admit, I'm curious to know how Castro thinks poofters "serve the interests of imperialism."

    The fashion industry, making young Cuban girls desire clothes more appealing than fatigues.

  • ||

    OK that makes a lot of sense dude. I like it.

    www.real-privacy.ua.tc

  • ||

    "Nor did Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet deserves plaudits for his 1999 letter “lamenting” (and not apologizing) those killed during his reign"

    OK, as a Chilean I have got to ask - what letter and what reign? Gringos know little more than what they read in the papers regarding what goes on outside the USA. Sounds like a NYT myth.

  • Jason||

    There's a mention of it here.

  • ||

    I thought that might be it, but the letter is not really what many want to spin it as. The reference is to Carta a los Chilenos - which is a reflection on what happened from civil breakdown during the Unidad Popular and the golpe and then to the transfer of power after the 1988 plebiscite. The letter was part of a larger social reconciliation that was occurring. Most Chileans remember it - yes, some cynically. In any event, trying to draw a parallel to Castro is a weak form of "both sides do it" BS. (Sorry, but Chile is part of socialist mythology and why keep on letting them spin the myths?)

  • Jeffersonian||

    I gotta say that Chile is the only South/Central American country that I didn't have a gun pointed at me at some time during my stay there. Ditto Brazil.

    BTW, I really liked Chile, though I got a hellacious sunburn in Vina del Mar.

  • cynical||

    Cuba is a prime example of what happens when you let right-wing extremists take over a country.

  • ||

    I see what you did there.

  • Amy Goodburger||

    I don't understand. Cuba is full of right-wing extremists. They allow the sale of air conditioners now!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Where's Tony to talk about the wrongness of Castro's anti-gay horseshit?

  • Colin||

    Funny thing is that my Spanish girlfriend visited Spain a couple of years ago and said that the people there are convinced Fidel's brother Raul is a maricón.

  • ||

    Castro, Mubarak, Pinochet, Kim Il Jong, Than Shwe, Khaddafi, Mugabe, plus a couple of dozen others: None of them deserve the right to die in bed, unless it's a plank of wood in a sweltering, sewage-filled, foetid, filthy, lightless cell.

  • ||

    Edit

    Forgot to add:

    "of some loathsome, festering, painful disease"

  • Eleanor Clift||

    At least the ungrateful maricones had free healthcare.

  • Abdul||

    The communist obsession with homo-hatred is far less rational than the same obsession displayed by some religious types.

    Castro isn't the only commie who blamed homosexuality on capitalism. Lenin also believed it was some sort of bourgeouis affectation brought on by excess wealth. South Koreans aren't very homo-friendly, but North Korea considers it a crime against the state.

  • ||

    At least the ungrateful maricones had free healthcare
    Thats why Castro´s doctor is spaniard and well paid
    To Collin
    And Venezuelan extreme opposition members believe Fidel is the maricón and Hugo Boss his love

  • Oliver Stone||

    I have no idea what any of you are talking about! It's like you didn't even watch my films at all!

  • ||

    who needs to get saved today in cuba? RayConder@hotmail.com

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement