Fidel Castro Takes Responsibility for Discrimination Against Gays in Cuba
It is a rare day when Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro admits that he was wrong, and accepts blame. In a lengthy two-part interview Mexican newspaper La Jornada, which may be one of Castro's most candid interactions with the press ever, he accepts blame for the vast discrimination against homosexuals in Cuba that followed his 1959 seizure of power.
"If someone is responsible, it's me," Castro said of prosecution of gays in the 1960's.
"Yes, there were moments of great injustice - great injustice," Castro continued.
"I am trying to narrow my responsibility in all of this, because of course personally I have no such prejudice," he said.
His words at the time tell a different story. He openly referred to homosexuals as "maricones," a Spanish slur akin to faggot, and his regime oversaw gay men being rounded up and put into concentration camps. There officials attempted to "re-educated" the men on their sexuality.
"Homosexuals should not be allowed in positions where they are able to exert influence upon young people," Castro once said. He also spoke of the fact that in rural areas of Cuba there are no homosexuals, and said that homosexuals are "agents of imperialism."
Though, in recent years rights for homosexuals have improved, in some cases better than those in the United States. Fidel's niece, Mariela, openly campaigns for rights of homosexuals, and civil unions are currently being considered.
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