‘Improper Conduct’: The movie that exposed the communist persecution of homosexuals in Cuba

This past March marked the 40th anniversary of the movie Improper Conduct, a film that showed the world how Cuba’s communist Castro dictatorship persecuted and imprisoned homosexuals. Communist ideology was the driving force behind purges and the rounding up of gay Cubans, who were sent to concentration camps to do forced labor.

Notes from the Cuban Exile has the story:

Improper Conduct 40 years later: A portrait of Communist persecution of homosexuals and its ideological foundation

“We would never come to believe that a homosexual could embody the conditions and requirements of conduct that would enable us to consider him a true revolutionary, a true communist militant.” … A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.” – Fidel Castro, 1965

Forty years ago on March 21, 1984 in France the film “Mauvaise Conduite” was released. The film was made by Néstor Almendros (1930-1992) and Orlando Jiménez Leal. The title of the film in English is Improper Conduct and it examines the “moral purges” of the Cuban Revolution that began in 1964 with the creation of Military Units to Aid Production or UMAPs (Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la Producción).

These forced labor camps were for those suspected of or found guilty of “improper conduct.” Persons with effeminate mannerisms: what the Cuban government called “extravagant behavior” were taken to these camps.

This systematic repression of homosexuals had an ideological component that first impacted policies in Communist China and the Soviet Union.

In the USSR homosexuality was criminalized on March 7, 1934, “punishable by prison and hard labor, and Stalinist anti-gay policies persisted throughout the 1960s and 1970s.” The Soviet anti-homosexual laws were on the books until 1993, two years after its dissolution.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia which claimed to be “the first Marxist–Leninist general-purpose encyclopedia” offered the following information on homosexuality in 1930.

“Soviet legislation does not recognize so-called crimes against morality. Our laws proceed from the principle of protection of society and therefore countenance punishment only in those instances when juveniles and minors are the objects of homosexual interest … while recognizing the incorrectness of homosexual development … our society combines prophylactic and other therapeutic measures with all the necessary conditions for making the conflicts that afflict homosexuals as painless as possible and for resolving their typical estrangement from society within the collective.”

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1 thought on “‘Improper Conduct’: The movie that exposed the communist persecution of homosexuals in Cuba”

  1. It’s the same as with the movie based on the life of Reinaldo Arenas, meaning it got some lip service but was largely ignored or rationalized away by the usual suspects, whose willful blindness never rests. That’s why Mariela Castro’s “gay rights” BS has been been taken and treated as if it were genuine.

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