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Will Gay Groups More Readily Embrace Castro’s Apology than Mehlman’s??

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:24 pm - September 1, 2010.
Filed under: Gay PC Silliness,Gays in Other Lands

Fidel Castro has always posed a problem for gay leftists.  On the one hand, he constantly wins accolades from the American left for his efforts to change Cuba while constantly being a thorn in the side of the United States.*  But, on the other, his regime has been perhaps the greatest persecutor of gay people in the Western Hemisphere.  

Not only did this demagogue oppose state recognition of same-sex marriage, but he also sent Cuban gays away to labor camps where they suffered under inhuman conditions and were often tortured.  

Now, the former chief executive of the world’s largest island prison, claims he was just “too busy” to prevent his henchman from persecuting gays:

Continuing his image rehabilitation campaign, ex-Cuban President Fidel Castro called the rampant homophobia in the initial stages of his revolution a “great injustice.”

During an interview with La Jornada, Castro said that while he was not prejudiced against gays, the blame for the homophobic atmosphere lay only with himself. He claims that he was “too busy” with other matters — such as trying to survive U.S. assassination attempts — to deal with the discriminatory policies.

As Mark Hemingway who alerted me to the article reminds us, Mr. Castro suffers from an affliction common to American Democrats, notably Barbara Boxer, remembering things the way he wants them to have been, not the way they were:

I had a feeling some in the media might be overeager to forgive Castro, but some basic questioning of the official version of the Cuban government’s claims might be in order. For one thing, persecution of gays appears to have persisted well past the “initial stages” of the Cuban revolution.

He’s right; it wasn’t just the initial stages of the “revolution.”  Just follow the story of Reinaldo Arenas, the subject of the 2000 movie, Before Night Falls.

Now that Castro has apologized — and his actions directly led to the real persecution , the real suffering, of gay people — I wonder if some gay leftists will more readily rush to accept his apology than they did that of Ken Mehlman — a man responsible for suffering only in the minds of those eager to blame all gay peoples’ woes on Republicans.

*(Support for this tyrant has been an article of faith on the American left for years.)

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37 Comments

  1. Did Castro’s policies have any direct effect on American gays? Mehlman’s did.

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — September 1, 2010 @ 6:13 pm - September 1, 2010

  2. The libs are more impressed with the fact that he turned his country into one of the assholes of the world. Same thing they want for America. If ti takes slaughtering gays in the process, especially by their hero Guevara, so be it.

    Mehlman’s did.

    Exactly WHICH “policies” were those, Aunti Dogfellatist?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 1, 2010 @ 6:20 pm - September 1, 2010

  3. Exactly where did Mehlman apologize AND accept responsibility? (Castro did do that much).

    Now since Fidel Castro accepted responsibility, that does imply that he must take other actions for full amends of the situation. (and I’m no big fan of Castro whatever). But this is a better beginning than Mehlman’s

    Mehlman is trying to dig into that “my bosses made me do it” shit and I have no tolerance for that.

    Ah, see, ya had to bring the lefty in me out…

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 1, 2010 @ 6:30 pm - September 1, 2010

  4. Gay Patriot, are you surprised? Of course the gay groups are going to bash Mehlman and justify Castro. This is all part of the way they roll. It’s so sad.

    I just poured out a post venting about the way gay groups are going after Mehlman. I’m sure Castro won’t even register on their radar. Internalized homophobia does strange things to people like Dan Savage.

    http://colorfulconservative.blogspot.com/2010/09/updated-version-of-mehlman-post-for.html

    Comment by Coco Rico — September 1, 2010 @ 7:00 pm - September 1, 2010

  5. Yes, please, Auntie, do tell me how the policies Mehlman advocated caused gay people to suffer.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 1, 2010 @ 7:30 pm - September 1, 2010

  6. (and I’m no big fan of Castro whatever). But this is a better beginning than Mehlman’s

    Damn hard to tell. Sounds like cheer leading to me.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 1, 2010 @ 7:52 pm - September 1, 2010

  7. @ThatGayConservative

    No it isn’t. As I said, Fidel Castro has a ways to go before I would proper amends to be made.

    Also…reportedly, Fidel Castro is straight and reportedly Ken Mehlman is gay.

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 1, 2010 @ 8:12 pm - September 1, 2010

  8. Mehlman’s policies made gay teens feel bad about themselves and commit suicide. Because, you know, teenagers are almost obsessive about following insider Republican politics.

    Comment by V the K — September 1, 2010 @ 8:19 pm - September 1, 2010

  9. Tyrannical left-wing extremist regimes: Nazism, Communism, and Islamism — More Government, Less Freedom!!! All those regimes persecuted gay people – and those regime’s radical ideologies are privately supported by Democrat politicians and Left-wing activists.

    Gay leftists and liberals are self-haters and their own self-destruction as they act like drones for the Democrat Party and their minions.

    Thank goodness for our American soldiers and their allies. Otherwise, gays and “minority” groups would still be systematically oppressed by tyrannical regimes.

    Comment by Totakikay — September 1, 2010 @ 8:38 pm - September 1, 2010

  10. What am I missing?

    But this is a better beginning than Mehlman’s

    Sooooo…..following your logic, if’n Mehlman had said he was too busy to do anything about it, that would’ve been cool.

    Seems like chronic rectal-cranial inversion thinking to me. And just what exactly is he supposed to apologize and accept responsibility for? Further, why does waiting 60 years make things better?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 1, 2010 @ 8:45 pm - September 1, 2010

  11. Dan, Dan, Dan….

    The American gay “civil rights” movement has its roots in 1960s Marxist-Socialism in the USA. So it is no surprise that Castro can be excused for his “transgressions” (ahem, murder/torture) for the greater cause.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — September 1, 2010 @ 9:35 pm - September 1, 2010

  12. Castro was a Communist dictator of an island prison for 50 years. He could apologize til the cows came home. The comparison with Mehlman is obscene.

    Comment by EssEm — September 2, 2010 @ 12:10 am - September 2, 2010

  13. I had a younf gay friend who was a dancer in Havana. His dance group danced at many of the big cities in South America and was scheduled to come to America . But before they could leave Castro took over. He was sent out to cut sugar cane and I have never heard from him since.

    Castro is a very evil man.

    Comment by John Waggy — September 2, 2010 @ 12:32 am - September 2, 2010

  14. See, I’ve seen photos and film of Havana, back in the day, when it was all casinos and night clubs. I wish I could see that Havana. Evidently, the tourist areas in Cuba are still pretty nice, but I couldn’t go unless it was a free Cuba.

    An added benefit, though, is that many Cubans are pretty hot (see Marco Rubio).

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 2, 2010 @ 1:10 am - September 2, 2010

  15. Did Castro’s policies have any direct effect on American gays? Mehlman’s did.

    Oh.

    Did Mehlman’s policies have and direct effect on Cuban gays? Castro’s did.

    Did Mehlman’s policies have and direct effect on German gays? Hitler’s did.

    Did Mehlman’s policies have and direct effect on Arab gays? Wahabism did.

    My gosh, Mehlman is the most evil man ever. Look who he is associated with: Hitler, Castro, Islamic nut jobs. Who knew?

    Comment by heliotrope — September 2, 2010 @ 8:11 am - September 2, 2010

  16. He claims that he was “too busy” with other matters — such as trying to survive U.S. assassination attempts — to deal with the discriminatory policies.

    So it is BusHitlerCheneyBurton’s America’s fault after all. The devil made Castro do it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 2, 2010 @ 10:09 am - September 2, 2010

  17. @ThatGayConservative

    You’re making the assumption that I am applying a different standard to Castro.

    I am not. (Although I could via the time factor; Castro’s actions began in the 1960’s, Mehlman’s actions were in the (by any standard) more gay tolerant 21st century.)

    The standard that I’m using is the admission of wrongdoing and the acceptance of responsibility for the wrong actions followed by material restitution.

    I’m saying that Fidel Castro has completed at least one of those conditions. I haven’t let him off the hook by any means.

    I suppose that Mehlman has begun to make some sort of restitution by holding the fundraiser but why? He hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing.
    Mehlman was not kidnapped a la Helen of Troy and forced to spill gay secrets to the Republicans.

    He did all of this willingly for…whatever motive (money and power, IMHO).

    And now he wants to help the very community that he had a hand in demonizing? And I supposed to take Mehlman’s word for it?

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 2, 2010 @ 12:33 pm - September 2, 2010

  18. So in otherwords… Melmen is “engaging in ‘restitution'” and Kev doesn’t accept it. “And I supposed to take Mehlman’s word for it?”

    So Kev’s standard is that Castro should be lauded because he says he’s sorry (obfuscating the truth in his apology) but Melman gets no credit for doing something, because somehow ‘working against the official gay standard(tm) is worse than actively killing and torturing gays.

    Wow, what a sick piece of work you are, Kev.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 2, 2010 @ 12:47 pm - September 2, 2010

  19. @The Livewire

    Where did I say anything like that.

    I hate it when people purposefully misconstrue what I said.

    For one, I personally can’t stand it when people say I’m sorry (usually people are sorry that they got caught at something, to be perfectly honest).

    Castro has said that he is responsible. Now in my book, that means that Castro is going to do something to rectify the situation.

    I’m far from satisfied with Castro.

    Mehlman has never admitted that he did any harm or that he did anything wrong. So while I may (or may not) benefit from the actions that he is now taking (and I will admit that I may have minimized that) the restitution (in my mind, anyway, and we can differ on this) is not actually completed; there are no results and there is no indication that Mehlman is actually changing his behavior.

    In fact, the whole “changing the behavior” part is something that both Mehlman and Castro needs to do.

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 2, 2010 @ 2:05 pm - September 2, 2010

  20. And also, the hilarious part is that “Chitown Kev” is whining and demanding that Mehlman make “restitution” when, in fact, the gay and lesbian community and its national organizations openly endorsed and supported politicians who supported and pushed state and Federal gay-sex marriage bans.

    Since “Chitown Kev” isn’t demanding “restitution” from gays and lesbians who worked on these campaigns or from HRC and the gay and lesbian community for supporting politicians who pushed gay-sex marriage bans, all we see here is that “Chitown Kev” is a typical Obama Party gay hustler, homo-baiter, hypocrite, and bigot.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 2, 2010 @ 2:08 pm - September 2, 2010

  21. For one, I personally can’t stand it when people say I’m sorry (usually people are sorry that they got caught at something, to be perfectly honest).

    And yet you are demanding it from Mehlman.

    Exactly where did Mehlman apologize AND accept responsibility? (Castro did do that much).

    and using the fact that you claim Mehlman hasn’t said I’m sorry to denigrate what he’s doing:

    I suppose that Mehlman has begun to make some sort of restitution by holding the fundraiser but why? He hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing.

    even though you ADMIT that you will not accept any statement of the sort and insist that Mehlman is lying.

    And now he wants to help the very community that he had a hand in demonizing? And I supposed to take Mehlman’s word for it?

    Moral relativism is so fun to watch, and gay leftists like you are some of the most entertaining practitioners of it. Ever think that so much of the hostility that’s shown towards gays is due to the fact that gays and lesbians like you are such obvious hypocrites?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 2, 2010 @ 2:18 pm - September 2, 2010

  22. @North Dallas Thirty

    I don’t have anything to do with ANY gay and lesbian organization; in fact, I don’t particularly care for them (with the exception of Lambda Legal at the national level) either.

    I an’t stand Hillary Rosen (and many people in the gay community can’t) and John Kerry…well, I had to hold my nose to vote for him (I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton or Al Gore and I don’t see myself voting for Obama in 2012 either…for my own reasons).

    No, I don’t want Mehlman to say I’m sorry; personally, I reserve “I’m sorry” for unintentional or unintended harms. If I knowingly harm someone, I always tell the person that I was wrong for what was done and that I won’t do it again (I’m not perfect at that aspect) .

    Hey, I don’t take Castro’s “word for it” either, that will be demonstrated by his actions.

    The lack of “a word” from Mehlman forces me to question his motives. If I determine a statement of Mehlman’s to be sincere, I would have no problem in saying that.

    And for the record, independent voter here, been an independent voter all my life.

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 2, 2010 @ 2:33 pm - September 2, 2010

  23. Misconstrue?

    “The standard that I’m using is the admission of wrongdoing and the acceptance of responsibility for the wrong actions followed by material restitution.”

    So you’re going to take the word of a mass murderer, who *still* imprisons and tortures his own people as a sign of contrition. But you won’t take as a sign of contrition (and what the hell does he have to be ‘contrite’ over? How has he done anything to compare to Castro’s actions?) the actions of a man who has done nothing of the sort.

    And I love this…

    ” (Although I could via the time factor; Castro’s actions began in the 1960’s, Mehlman’s actions were in the (by any standard) more gay tolerant 21st century.)”

    Castro kills people. At most Ken Melman made them feel bad. But to you, Castro’s I’m sorry lie (as Dan said, his ‘apology’ doesn’t even jive with the historical record) is actually worth something.

    So Castro throws some money at Gay Inc. and Kev sweeps under the rug 50+ years of terror and torture. (“material restitution”) but Ken raises money for a cause he previously opposed (and is nowhere near the level of Castro’s actions) and yet he’s never going to be forgiven by Kev and his ilk.

    Now I know why people like Kev can’t stand up for something. They’re too busy twisting themselves into knots to justify anything.

    Comment by The_Livewire — September 2, 2010 @ 2:34 pm - September 2, 2010

  24. @The Livewire.

    Sure, Mehlman can be forgiven.

    When I’m good and ready. (and people would argue with you about whether Mehlman simply made them “feel bad”…I won’t argue it with you)

    Sure Castro can be forgiven. When I’m good and ready.

    And hey, Daniel put Castro and Mehlman in the same post, I didn’t. I’m not making the comparison (in fact, there really very little comparison, now that I think about it).

    Whatever Castro’s many faults and crimes, he’s a straight man as far as I’m concerned (as is Obama).

    Mehlman is a gay man. Big difference.

    And for the record, I’m pretty cynical about all politicians.

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 2, 2010 @ 2:45 pm - September 2, 2010

  25. Hmmmm…, why doesn’t Mehlman run for Congress?

    Comment by Chitown Kev — September 2, 2010 @ 2:51 pm - September 2, 2010

  26. Chitown Kev,

    Would you say that Mehlman is not gay enough for you?

    Comment by heliotrope — September 2, 2010 @ 6:33 pm - September 2, 2010

  27. He did all of this willingly for…whatever motive (money and power, IMHO).

    And now he wants to help the very community that he had a hand in demonizing?

    What did he do “willingly”?

    Mehlman is a gay man. Big difference.

    Evidently he wasn’t 6 years ago.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 2, 2010 @ 7:06 pm - September 2, 2010

  28. and people would argue with you about whether Mehlman simply made them “feel bad”…

    Good. I want to see those peoples’ arguments, especially since they’re so willing to forgive Castro, who clearly DID imprison, torture, and murder gay and lesbian people.

    Furthermore, since those same gay and lesbian people were telling Mehlman to blow his brains out, they no longer get to play the whiny “teen suicide” card. Since they support, endorse, and even encourage people killing themselves, it’s no longer appropriate for them to whine about it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 2, 2010 @ 7:49 pm - September 2, 2010

  29. I wonder why so many farm state Republicans are eager to trade with “the world’s largest island prison”? Castro’s position on gays has no bearing whatever on the feeling throughout much of the left that the embargo has been a failure. Isn’t that what gay conservatives care about? Examining an issue minus gay identity and then making a decision? My feeling that the embargo has been a failure and serves no useful purpose other than to placate FL voters has nothing to do with my being gay. This isn’t even a criticism of Republicans, as Democratic administrations have kept the embargo in place as well. Regardless of Castro’s position on gays, the US should open up all travel and trade to Cuba, just as we have with China, hardly a paragon of human rights virtue and free trade capitalism.

    Comment by Mike — September 2, 2010 @ 10:31 pm - September 2, 2010

  30. Also, apparently pointing out that Cuba was essentially a mob-run dictatorship kleptocracy before Castro took power apparently now equates to admiring Castro. Cuba has been under terrible conditions since Castro took over, and its people were living under terrible conditions before he took over (politically speaking at the very least).

    Comment by Mike — September 2, 2010 @ 10:38 pm - September 2, 2010

  31. Mike,

    I visited the pre-Castro Cuba and knew it fairly well. Bastista was no choir boy. But, please name the Central American or Caribbean country that was a happy democracy during the 1950’s.

    Havana was an exotic casino and nightlife city where Canadians, Brits and Americans spent lots of money. Batista and his mob ran a successful Vegas type place.

    And the coming US economy is only going to make it worse for them. Too many people in Cuba depend on money from relatives in the US.

    Castro, in the past 20 years has tried to restart the resort concept in order to get foreign currency to bolster the economy. The Brits and Canadians go there for “luxury” on the cheap. The Castro brothers would dearly love to get Americans and the steamship traffic as well.

    But, if you have any idea that Cuba is different from the Batista days, you are sadly misinformed. Sure the very poor have been raised to a higher level. But everyone else has been lowered to a level you would would not accept for public housing or food stamp standards.

    The whole country is crumbling. They can not afford to repair windows and doors. They patch the patches and then patch two patches together.

    What will come after the Castos? Maybe a Chavez or some similar form of continued dictatorship. The Cubans who fled to Miami are too old, too used to the good life and too out of touch to rebuild the island.

    Just what your beef with Batista is, I do not know. Cuba has been a mess since the US left before WWI. They are not going to reclaim their place in the sugar cane world and cigars are not going to restart their economy.

    Castro murdered a lot of good people and drove the rest of the business class off the island. Many backward countries in the islands and Central America have moved ahead since 1960 and some are darn near respectable places to live with decent government. Cuba stopped dead when Castro took over and has decayed from there. That is a lot of catching up.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 2, 2010 @ 11:53 pm - September 2, 2010

  32. Heliotrope: I think we pretty much agree. I don’t see that any good comes from continuing the embargo and I also don’t see the consistency in our trading with China and not Cuba. Castro is neither no more evil nor any better than any number of tyrannical regimes that the US trades with in countries that US citizens may visit.

    Imagine the streets of Havana teeming with American tourists from cruise ships. It’s a far better proposition than the current situation. If the US begins trading with Cuba now, once Castro and his brother pass from the scene, there’s a far better chance that we may influence the direction of any successor government.

    As for Batista, I have no particular animus toward him, but I feel many conservatives simply brush over the fact that he was a ruthless dictator aided by even more ruthless members of the American mafia and by US businesses who had a stake in his continued rule. This speech by President Kennedy pretty well lays out the case for how our policy of supporting Batista laid the groundwork for Castro’s takeover:
    http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical+Resources/Archives/Reference+Desk/Speeches/JFK/JFK+Pre-Pres/1960/002PREPRES12SPEECHES_60OCT06b.htm

    I don’t see any good in continuing a policy that has not benefitted the US and has not produced any increase in liberty for Cuba. We should end the embargo now and normalize diplomatic and trade relations with that country.

    Comment by Mike — September 3, 2010 @ 12:58 am - September 3, 2010

  33. […] on the former dictator’s “apology,” some of our (left-of-center) readers were quick to acknowledge this admission of responsibility (with one indicating he believed the one-time […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Are gays who defend leftist tyrant who persecutes gays guilty of self-hatred*? — September 3, 2010 @ 1:36 pm - September 3, 2010

  34. Heliotrope: I think we pretty much agree.

    On what? Did you read my comments?

    Castro is the worst dictator Cuba has had. He is the one who destroyed the place. Now he wants Yankee tourist dollars to keep his gulag churning.

    Maybe you place a high priority on pouring money down a rat hole. Why don’t you start with Haiti. We have been priming that pump with billions of stimulus dollars since forever. You may notice that Charlie Rangel camps on the other end of the island.

    Comment by heliotrope — September 3, 2010 @ 4:00 pm - September 3, 2010

  35. I agree, Castro is a bad guy. Why don’t you address my main point: we trade every day with terribly oppressive governments all over the world. Why don’t we end trade with China? But then again, asking for any sort of consistency from most Republicans is a losing battle. I’m glad some farm state Republicans have come around on this issue and hopefully we’ll have the embargo lifted eventually.

    Comment by Mike — September 4, 2010 @ 12:44 am - September 4, 2010

  36. Auntie Dogma @ 1:

    1.Did Castro’s policies have any direct effect on American gays? Mehlman’s did.

    Once again we are treated to a full dose of leftist stupidity in the first comment. Bravo.

    Did Castro’s actions and inactions have any direct effect on Cuban gays, you stupid shit? Why, yes they did!

    But of course the homos on a tropical island in Latin America don’t count nearly as much as those in places like New York City and San Francisco, do they?

    Be a dear, Auntie, and crawl back under your rock.

    Comment by Classical Liberal Dave — September 4, 2010 @ 5:00 am - September 4, 2010

  37. According to the “Human Rights Campaign”, the Obama Party, and the leadership of the gay and lesbian community, gay and lesbian Cubans should be proud that they were imprisoned, tortured, and killed by a properly leftist government, while American gays and lesbians are intolerably oppressed because they cannot marry whatever and however many sexual partners they desire.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 4, 2010 @ 6:31 pm - September 4, 2010

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