Castro: I’m responsible for past anti-gay persecution

In an Aug. 31 interview with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, Fidel
Castro accepted responsibility for Cuba’s persecution of homosexuals
decades ago.

From 1959, when the previous government was overthrown in an armed
rebellion, until the 1970s, gays were branded counterrevolutionaries and
forced into labor camps.

“Those were moments of great injustice,” Castro told La Jornada. “A great
injustice! … If anyone is responsible, I am.

“It’s a given that at that time, I couldn’t occupy myself with this
matter. I found myself immersed primarily in the October Crisis (Cuban
missile crisis), the war, political questions (but) I’m not going to toss
the blame on others.”

These days, Cuba stages official public LGBT events.

On May 15, hundreds of LGBT people marched in Havana’s Vedado nightlife
district in advance of the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia and
Transphobia. They were led by President Raúl Castro’s daughter Mariela,
who heads CENESEX, the National Sex Education Center.

Other IDAHO events included workshops on LGBT issues and a huge,
officially sanctioned outdoor drag show May 17 in the city of Santa Clara,
160 miles (258 km) east of Havana.

By Rex Wockner


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