Hiding Cuba’s crimes behind gay rights lies

An excellent editorial in the New York Daily News by James Kirchick:

Hiding Cuba’s crimes behind gay rights lies

Mariela Castro Espin’s offensive ‘pinkwashing’


On December 7, 1990, Cuban poet and novelist Reinaldo Arenas ended his life. Forced into exile because of his political dissidence, and dying slowly of AIDS, he could no longer withstand the physical and mental torment of the disease. His brief suicide note, expressing contentment for a life well lived, nonetheless conveyed a sense of burning rage. “Persons near me are in no way responsible for my decision,” wrote Arenas, whose life Julian Schnabel portrayed elegiacally in his adaptation of Arenas’ memoir “Before Night Falls.”

“There is only one person I hold accountable: Fidel Castro.”

Like countless other gay Cubans, many of whom were executed or rounded up into concentration camps and worked to death in the name of Socialist revolution, Arenas was persecuted for his sexuality. So one can only imagine how he would react to the recent spectacle at the New York Public Library, in which a roomful of gay activists warmly welcomed a high-ranking representative from that despicable regime.

On May 29, Mariela Castro Espin, the niece of Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro and the daughter of its present leader, Raul, delivered a talk at an event organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Back in Cuba, Castro (who is heterosexual) heads something called the National Center for Sex Education and is a prominent supporter of gay marriage. Asked about the regime’s interment of HIV-positive people, Castro “seemed to talk around the issue,” according to Gay City News. Nonetheless, she received a standing ovation.

In isolation, Castro’s support for gays is laudable. But her campaign for gay rights, such as it is, must be seen within the context of the repression that the Castro regime has inflicted upon the Cuban people for five decades.

The Castro brothers are wise enough to read international political currents; revolutionary machismo isn’t in vogue like it was in the 1960s. They know that a sure way to warm the hearts of progressives is to pledge support for some nebulous concept of “gay rights.” Never mind Cuban gays — like all citizens of Cuba save high-ranking members of the Communist Party — do not enjoy basic liberties like freedom of speech or religion. They cannot join an independent labor union or vote. When it comes to gay life in Cuba, “Not much has changed since Reinaldo Arenas’ time.”

That assessment doesn’t come from “terrorist groups based in Miami” or the “mediocre yellow press,” as Castro recently described her critics in a radio interview. It comes from In These Times, a left-wing American magazine that publishes the likes of Noam Chomsky. Three years ago, it ran a special feature on Cuba, including an in-depth report about homosexuality.

Continue reading HERE.

2 thoughts on “Hiding Cuba’s crimes behind gay rights lies”

  1. This is a remarkably telling photo of Mariela, possibly because it caught her unawares. The face is like a mask rather the worse for wear, momentarily not ON, not acting, but tired and lifeless, empty, drained of meaning because it can only be animated by lies, and I expect she knows they’re lies, which must be depressing. She is almost pitiable, but then one remembers where her DNA came from, all of it, and in a moment the mask will resume its performance, putting a smiling face on evil.

  2. Reinaldo Arenas would never have bought Mariela’s gay rights schtick for a second. He would have denounced her as a hypocritical, opportunistic fraud, which is what she is. If anybody anywhere feels better qualified to judge Mariela in this context than Arenas, that person is quite simply full of it. The only people who can buy the tripe Mariela’s selling are either the painfully stupid or the eternal enablers of Castro, Inc. Either way, we’re talking ZERO credibility, and sub-zero respectability. It’s way too late in the game for this kind of bullshit.

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