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 2018-06-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  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

Mayor Emanuel pursues landmark status for Legacy Walk 2018-06-22 - Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the City would seek Landmark Status for the Legacy Walk in Boystown. With its Northalsted "Rainbow Pylon" ...


Gay News

Attorney General Lisa Madigan honored by fellow Attorneys General 2018-06-22 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan received the prestigious Kelley-Wyman award Thursday from attorneys general across the country. The Kelley-Wyman Award is presented ...


Gay News

For the first time, City Club invites Pride inside 2018-06-21 - The first time the City Club of Chicago held an LGBTQ event, it did so with what panel moderator and Equality Illinois CEO ...


Gay News

HRC Responds to Trump-Pence Executive Order, House GOP Immigration Bills 2018-06-20 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) responded to Donald Trump's executive order retreating from his cruel and dangerous ...


Gay News

Report: Only 559 LGBTQ elected officials in U.S. 2018-06-20 - LGBTQ Victory Institute's 2018 "Out for America" report says that there are 559 known openly LGBTQ elected officials in the United States—and the ...


Gay News

Gay commissioner candidate holds Pride fundraiser 2018-06-20 - Kevin B. Morrison, the gay democratic Cook County Commissioner candidate for the 15th district, held a Pride month fundraiser June 13 at Sidetrack. ...


Gay News

WORLD Icelandic Pride, Peter Tatchell, World Cup 2018-06-19 - Seyoisfjorour, a town in Iceland with only 700 residents, has created a rainbow path to show its support for its LGBTQ residents, LGBTQ ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Palm Springs, NYC Pride, Alan Turing 2018-06-19 - The California Legislature LGBTQ Caucus recognized the Palm Springs City Council June 11 in Sacramento for being the nation's first elected all LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Class Action Lawsuit Targets Chicago Police's Gang Database 2018-06-19 - Chicago — The Chicagoans for an End to the Gang Database, a coalition of individuals and community organizations, gathered in City Hall on ...


Gay News

South Bend, Ind., mayor marries 2018-06-18 - After their wedding Saturday, June 16, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg ( left ) and Chasten Glezman took a detour from St. James ...


 



Copyright © 2018 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

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.