On top of everything else about it, the Cuban dictatorship is homophobic, too.
Julián Armando Soto, a gay rights activist in Havana, reports that Cuban police Saturday rounded up 34 homosexuals for "putting in danger" security for a Mass being said by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. At the time of the arrests, the detainees were either gathered in a park or in front of a movie theater.
"We were on Prado street, and the Mass was at Cathedral Plaza, which is about 1,800 meters away," said Ángela Gorrero, 37, who identified herself as a lesbian, as she was held at a local police station. "Also, look at the ticket, I was about to enter the theater when I was detained."
Also, there is a separate report that police swept in on homosexuals enjoying a beach north of Havana.
"There is no name for the police abuse. Look at my legs. I fell while running on the reefs on the coast so that I would not be imprisoned. They grabbed me, and it didn't matter to them that I was bleeding," said Rigoberto Soto Espinosa, 23, a university economics student.
The report notes that police left fishermen and straight bathers alone.
It is tempting to dismiss these reports as nothing special. This is how the dictatorship treats all Cubans who dare deviate from the official party line.
But the recent gay bashing — which was not out of the unusual, considering that more than 4,000 homosexuals were fined or jailed last year in Havana alone — also illustrates the hypocrisy that lies in the rot of a so-called revolution.
The Castros have cast themselves as champions for the little guy, and in a macho culture like Cuba's, perhaps no one is smaller than the homosexual. Well, in Cuba — even with the new dictator's daughter talking a good game — the homosexual is not immune from the worst the revolution has to offer.
You don't have to be gay or even accepting of the gay lifestyle to see that as long as gays are oppressed as described in recent report, Cuban society is that much less free. Their challenge is no greater nor no less than that before all Cubans struggling to be free.
(Cross-posted at Babalú.)