Fidel Castro admits persecution of gays during the Cuban revolution

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by barkomatic, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    #1
    This was quite surprising. He called it a "great injustice" and indeed it was -- since many gay people were sent to hard labor camps at the time. Things have changed for gays in Cuba since then and apparently homosexuality was decriminalized in 1979. According to article there is a push for same sex unions (though the word "marriage" was not used).

    Fidel Castro is no hero because of a multitude of human rights abuses, but I honestly can't recall a current or former leader of any country taking personal responsibility for the persecution of any group (unless that leader was on trial and thought such an apology would help their case that is). It makes you wonder exactly how much control he had over the revolution if he feels this way--and if other things happened at that time and since then that he regrets.

    Perhaps this is a deliberate effort to soften the perception of the state of human rights in Cuba--a big justification behind the blockade.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/08/31/cuba.castro.gays/index.html?hpt=Sbin
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Good that he admitted it- bad that it ever happened in the first place. But it seems we're everyone's favorite punching bag, doesn't it?
     
  3. barkomatic thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #3
    We are definitely a pawn in the "culture war" being waged that's for sure. I'm hoping it'll turn out favorably, but I have a feeling that most of the Glenn Beck crowd would love to see gay people in hard labor camps in the U.S.
     
  4. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Now the Simpsons episode makes a little more sense:

    Fidel Castro: Comrads, our nation is completely bankrupt! We have no choice but to abandon communism!
    Castro's Aide #1, Castro's Associates: [sigh]
    Fidel Castro: I know, I know, I know... but we all knew from day one this mumbo jumbo wouldn't fly! I'll call Washington and tell them they won.
    Castro's Aide #1: But presidente, America tried to kill you!
    Fidel Castro: Ah, they're not so bad. They even named a street after me in San Francisco!
    [Aide #2 whispers something into his ear]
    Fidel Castro: It's full of what!?
     
  5. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #5
    if he is seeking redemption for what he has done he is a bit late
     
  6. MyDesktopBroke macrumors 6502

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    #6
    It's still a good thing to say.

    If W. came out and said "yeah, I invaded the wrong country on faulty evidence and twice as many Americans died than in 9/11 because of it and tens of thousands of civilians were killed in the cross fire– that was a big mistake," it wouldn't make what he did right. Apologies don't work like that. But it still is always the right thing to do when you've made a mistake, no matter how big it is.
     
  7. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #7
    OMFG I love the first decade of the Simpsons! Pure comedy gold!
     
  8. Queso macrumors G4

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    #8
    Ah well. I'll toast him with a mojito when he goes anyway.

    Made with real Havana Club of course ;)
     
  9. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #9
    Glenn Beck doesn't really care about gay people.



    Unless they're a socialists.
     
  10. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #10
    Cuban model no longer works, says Fidel Castro

    what's up with Castro these days?

    admitting persecution of gays? denouncing Ahmadinejad for anti-semttetic views, and now "the Cuban economic model doesn't work"? BBC

     
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #11
    Perhaps, senility is setting in. Or maybe he is just trying to make peace with God before his death. Who knows.
     
  12. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #12
    I agree. Probably the old age that's getting to him. :)
     
  13. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I can't actually think of *any* model that works under decades of economic blockade. Especially after they lost their one and only supply line 20 years ago when the USSR crumbled.

    On a bright note from a future tourism point of view, Cuba like North Vietnam are lucky to still have their unique architectural and cultural identity and history as they are untouched by the rampant concrete and glass modernization and realty development that has turned other tourist places like Singapore or Thailand into sterile abominations of air-conditioned shopping malls playing muzak and Waikiki style multi-storey hotels right on top of previously pristine beaches..
     
  14. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #14
    Along with blacks, jews, athiests, muslims, catholics, protestants, women, and native americans ;)
     
  15. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #15
    To be fair, its really just the US is blockading. But are you seriously suggestion that the Cuban model would have worked? Because I'm gonna to call you on that claim...China and Russia aren't communist for a reason today.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #16
    Countries don't work if the USA don't want them to. It's sad but its true, we have our hand just about everywhere, and our population is blissfully unaware of why many of these countries don't improve.

    /guy on a chomsky binge.
     
  17. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Dunno, it never really got the chance did it? The suffocation started practically immediately to force it into being still-born, so we'll never know..

    Besides, one good thing from that suffocation and forced-exclusion as I pointed out was the lack of rampant consumerism. Which preserved a lot of charcater and history. The old classic cars and buildings etc are a good thing in my opinion, something we can all learn from the next time somebody wants to tear down an old building to construct some sterile concrete and glass monstrosity for profit. It's an intangible quality of life thing that is overlooked when it comes to measuring economic or social success, especially for those who only measure success in $ signs, like a supermarket being built in a sleepy English village totally destroys an unmeasurable essence that you can never get back..

    PS. tangent - my opinion is Russia was never communist anyway, it was a state capitalist dictatorship. Just instead of the wealthy elite controlling the means of production and exploiting the workers, the state did. So to address your point, Russia isn't communist because their dictatorship failed, China isn't communist because communism *did* work for them - lifted a billion peasants out of agrarian poverty so they could start on the road to industrialization and capitalism. Like Roosevelt lifted Americans out of poverty and back on the road to wealth in the 1930s. There's no reason for communism/socialism to be the defacto permanent system, in fact it's even better to have socialism as an option in a democracy as a fall-back and check against the excesses and failures of rampant capitalism, as many successful countries do.

    We should all be. :)
     
  18. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #18
    yes, but well, was there ever actually a blockade? um, within the usually accepted definition of the word "blockade" of course....or is that just another of those fantasies left over from the cold war? :p
     
  19. JediZenMaster Suspended

    JediZenMaster

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    #19
    The persecution is awful that took place but the fact that he admitted this does speak volumes. I'm not saying he gets a free pass but it seems like he wants to change.

    And if we can forgive Senator Byrd and others for their transgressions then i don't see why fidel can't be forgive either. As a gay man myself i've mad some really bad choices but people have given me chances inspite of my mistakes.
     
  20. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Well, the article does say he decriminalized homosexuality back in 1979 (while still illegal in half the US states), so it's not like he's having a late-life crisis of conscience about being anti-homosexual when he made it legal over 30 years ago.

    I think his remorse is that he didn't do it even earlier than that. That he was slow to get around to scrapping these old laws because he had other stuff to deal with in the 60s and 70s. That's the gist I get from the article anyway.
     
  21. bobber205 macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I guess Castro isn't such a bad guy after all. :)
     
  22. zap2 macrumors 604

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    #22
    Wait just a second, you're going to claim Russia wasn't communist(which I'm totally on board with) but that China was? I'm sorry, but your argument of "the wealthy elite was replaced by the state" in Russia is very true, but its also the same for China.


    As far as the Chinese communist revolution "working", I'd say thats rather subjective. In some ways, it was a success(rapid industrialization as you pointed out), but at what cost? How many people died? How many lived lives of terrible quality, always surviving in a constant state of fear?

    Also the idea that the Mao lifted a billion peasants out of poverty would imply that
    1) Just about everyone in China was a peasant
    2) Just about everyone is out of poverty today.

    I'm not sure either of those claims are true.


    (Fidel's Cuba was no more Marxist Communist then Russia or China, but I was using the word "Communist" in the way it was used through out the cold war.)
     
  23. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #23
    That is wrongly.
     

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