Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-01-11
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies
By Andrew Davis and Matt Simonette
2016-11-24

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Longtime Cuban ruler Fidel Castro has died at age 90.

The country declared nine days of national mourning to mark his death.

President Barack Obama—who, two years ago, brokered a deal to restore diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba for the first time since they were cut 55 years ago—offered his condolences. He urged Cubans to remember that they had "a friend and partner in the United States of America."

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump called Castro a "brutal dictator," and said he hoped Cubans could move toward a more free future.

Castro took power in Cuba on New Year's Day 1959, promising to share his nation's wealth with its poorest citizens. However, he became one of the world's most controversial leaders, in part due to such developments as the Cuban Missile Crisis and even his abolishment of Christmas as an official holiday for three decades. ( Castro was also seen as a thorn in the side of almost a dozen U.S. presidents. ) He transferred his power to younger brother Raul in 2006, and formally resigned in 2008.

When it came to LGBT rights, Fidel was not known for his liberalism, and he sent thousands of gay men to labor camps. ( He apologized for the camps in 2010. )

In a Sept. 2015 talk he gave in Chicago, Cuban activist and physician Alberto Roque Guerra described how the island nation's historical homophobia only got worse in the days immediately following Castro's rise, since homosexuality was regarded as a hedonistic symptom of capitalism. Guerra said that the communist party, machismo, poor sex education and the medical profession all contributed to homophobia throughout the 1960s. Gay Cubans were not allowed to take part in the arts nor in educational capacities at the time.

"Officials were trying to erase our past," Guerra said.

A Dec. 10, 1987, issue of the Chicago paper Outlines reported that "up to 50 percent or more of the Cuban prisoners who had been rioting at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and the Federal Alien Detention Center in Louisiana" were gay; they were apparently jailed for up to eight years solely because of their sexual orientation.

In 1980, "Castro opened the doors for the Mariel flotillas, which started when 5,000 Cubans, including a large number of gays, occupied the Peruvian Embassy grounds and demanded freedom." About 125,000 individuals journeyed to the United States—many of them gay people who Cuban authorities forced out of prisons and detainment facilities. However, once the gay refugees arrived in the United States, they were separated and imprisoned yet again.

Cuba decriminalized same-sex activities in 1979—but his government quarantined HIV/AIDS-positive people until 1993. Raul's daughter, Mariela Castro, is a prominent LGBT-rights activist; the documentary Mariela Castro's March: Cuba's LGBT Revolution debuted on HBO Nov. 28.

According to writer-activist Achy Obejas, "Fidel Castro's death, honestly, is anti-climactic. The succession of his brother Raul is assured and solid and has been for years. And it makes zero difference to LQBTQ prospects in Cuba: Fidel allowed the UMAP camps that imprisoned gay men and lesbians in the 1960s and only took a tepid responsibility for them a few years ago in a Mexican newspaper. That apology was never heard by the thousands of queer lives he ruined in Cuba and the policies of paranoia he set in place. An entire queer generation still suffers PTSD from that time."

Obejas added that, though Cuba "is progressive on many issues, it remains markedly anti-queer: There are zero rights for same sex couples on the island. Never mind no right to marry, there are no rights to co-habitation, no rights to adopt, no rights protecting employment, no rights protecting even peaceful assembly. Yes, you can get free gender reassignment surgery if you're Cuban, but that's because the state views that as a medical right, not a civil right, and the difference is critical. For gays to move forward in Cuba, a lot more is going to have to happen than just Fidel dying."

Cuba-born performer Gloria Estefan wrote on Instagram, "Although the death of a human being is rarely cause for celebration, it is the symbolic death of the destructive ideologies that he espoused that, I believe, is filling the Cuban exile community with renewed hope and a relief that has been long in coming."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Women's March on Chicago Jan. 21 2017-01-16 - Chicago will be among more than 380 cities around the world hosting women's marches Jan. 21, the day after the U.S. presidential inauguration. ...


Gay News

Love is Love, Sidetrack offering uplifting Inauguration Day alternative 2017-01-14 - Lakeview, Chicago. ( January 13, 2017 ) Sidetrack The Video bar-famous for Show Tune Sunday, frozen slushies, and napkin tosses ( among other ...


Gay News

1000s of Illinoisans traveling to Women's March on Washington Jan. 21 2017-01-14 - As the date draws closer for what is expected to be one of the largest demonstrations in Washington, D.C. in recent times, Illinois ...


Gay News

Women's March on Chicago announces new rally location 2017-01-14 - Jackson Boulevard at Lake Shore Drive, immediately south of the Petrillo Bandshell, will be the new kick-off point for a Jan. 21 rally ...


Gay News

Gallup: More than 10 million adults identify as LGBTQ 2017-01-14 - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation responded to a new Gallup survey reflecting a historic increase in adults ...


Gay News

Sen. Tammy Baldwin to oppose Sen. Jeff Sessions' nomination for Attny Gen. 2017-01-14 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today released the following statement announcing she will oppose President-elect Trump's nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions ...


Gay News

Julian Assange wants clemency for Manning 2017-01-14 - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly agreed to be extradited to the United States if President Obama grants whistle-blower Chelsea Manning clemency before ...


Gay News

Justice Dept.: Pattern of rights violations in Chicago Police Dept. 2017-01-13 - WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced today that it has found reasonable cause to believe that the Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) ...


Gay News

Equality California urges Congress to preserve the Affordable Care Act 2017-01-13 - Washington, D.C.— Equality California has sent a letter to members of the California congressional delegation urging them not to repeal the Affordable Care ...


Gay News

President Obama makes statement on monuments honoring civil rights history 2017-01-13 - Today, I am designating new national monuments that preserve critical chapters of our country's history, from the Civil War to the civil rights ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.