Fidel Castro Dies and I remember Reinaldo Arenas

2016-11-26Fidel Castro dies and I am remembered of Reinaldo Arenas the Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright who despite his early sympathy for Fidel Castro and the 1959 revolution, grew critical of and then rebelled against the Cuban government.

Arenas’s writings and openly gay lifestyle were, by 1967, bringing him into conflict with the Communist government and he spent several years in prison in Cuba under Fidel Castro. Arenas, like other homosexuals, had become the object of the Castro regime’s disfavor and suffered. I am reminded of the revolution inside the revolution.

Yes Fidel Castro later in his life did take responsibility for the persecution and said, “If anyone is responsible, it’s me”. But the fact that Fidel Castro apologized for his regime’s past mistreatment of gays does not take off the crimes committed.

So today on Fidel Castro’s death I remember Reinaldo Arenas and the countless Gay Rights Activists, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Cuba who suffered during Castro’s Regime. I am also reminded of the fact that there is no revolution that does not spill the blood of innocents. That there is no honor in curtailing the rights of people to voice their opinion and be who they are without obstructing other’s rights. It does not matter whether you are left, right or center; if you let inequality happen you are at fault and humanity will not forgive.

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