08/31/10-by Bridgette P. LaVictoire
For the first time, Fidel Castro has admitted that there was persecution of lesbians and gays prior to the nation’s decriminalization of homosexuality in 1979. Often times, gay men were sent to labor camps without trial.
“They were moments of great injustice, great injustice! If someone is responsible, it’s me,” Castro told journalist Lira Saade from La Jornada, a Mexican daily. “We had so many and such terrible problems, problems of life or death, that we didn’t pay it enough attention,” Castro stated about how lesbians and gays were treated. Currently, the island nation off of Florida is grappling with the possibility of legalizing same-sex unions.
Fidel Castro was recently forced to hand power over to his brother Raul Castro due to ill health. He had ruled the nation since he rose to power in 1959 and stepped down in 2008. He is currently 84 years old.
His remarks were made in the second part of a two part interview. They also bring up the question of why is it that an old and vicious dictator can change his mind about injustice, but it seems so many in the United States, including President Barack Obama, cannot?