Jean-Claude Juncker hailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro as a “hero for many”.


Mr Juncker, the President of the European Commission, made the comments after Castro’s death last month.The leader said: “With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many. He changed the course of his country and his influence reached far beyond.”Gay men were viewed as inherently counter-revolutionary and homosexuality was declared a “deviation incompatible with the revolution” by Castro’s regime.LGBT people, particularly gay men, were routinely sent to prisons and labour camps without charge or trial by the state.Tory MEP Ian Duncan, who is gay himself, called for Mr Jucker to withdraw his comments in a letter. He sent the leader a copy of gay Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir Before Night Falls, which chronicles his own experiences.Mr Duncan wrote: “I was deeply troubled by your statement marking the death of Fidel Castro.
“Castro may have been a ‘hero’ for some but for others, particularly those members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community of Cuba, he was a homophobic tyrant who abused human rights and degraded human dignity.
“The Castro regime declared homosexuality a ‘deviation incompatible with the revolution.’ Homosexuals were incarcerated without charge or trial and were beaten, degraded and tortured. Many did not emerge from the camps. Even when the camps were closed, the gay community of Cuba suffered abuse under the law.


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