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.