This r/The_Donald reddit thread features an image macro that reads:

You know what really grinds my gears?

Liberals saying that Trump will put gays into concentration camps and eliminate free speech while praising Fidel Castro... who actually did.

enter image description here

Did Fidel Castro put people into concentration camps because they were gay?

  • 17
    There is another claim in the quote, namely that liberals prais Fidel Castro. That's only true for a very small, radical, and non-representative subset of progressives. Same fallacy as progressive who equate any Trump supporter with white power folks.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 21:50
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    @gerrit - i suggested in earlier comment that the second claim should be a separate Q
    – user5341
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 21:59
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    To "praise Castro" is rather vague so I'm not sure if it would make a good question. Does "He did manage to survive all the time" or "healthcare there is relatively good for such a poor country" count as "praise Castro"? To me, "praise Castro" would mean to state Castro's policies are overall good.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 22:03
  • 2
    Please show this image macro is notable. What is the source of it? Are you asking if Castro ran concentration camps? Great. Simplify the question. Are you asking if the claims about Trump are notable? Ugh. Weirdly meta. Are you asking whether there were individuals who both made these claims about Trump AND praised Fidel Castro?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 22:58
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    @user5341: Thanks. I did a Google Image Search and it found lots of examples of that image, with different text. I made a couple of stabs to narrow it down, and then pushed the job back onto the OP.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 5:19

2 Answers 2


In the 60s, Cuba operated labor camps (see also here) for those who did not want to serve their mandatory time in the military or those who were not welcome in the military, which included gay people.

Additionally, homosexual acts which were illegal before the revolution remained illegal until 1979 and gay people were persecuted in various other ways. It is worth noting that homosexual acts were also illegal in parts of the USA until 2003.

As far as I am aware no prominent member of the democratic party or self-described liberal has said that Trump will build concentration or death camps for anyone, including gay people. The main complaint from the left-wing on the topic of homosexuality was that Trump named Mike Pence his vice president. The strongest claim against him is that he supports state-sponsored conversion therapy, which may or may not be the case, and other policies which have been described as anti-LGBT rights.

  • 4
    @user5341 There are many claims from the right, most from the reactions to Castro's death. But some of the same articles also criticize the Pope, hardly a liberal, for the same statements. I don't think that this proves a wide-spread praise of Castro or his policies by the left.
    – tim
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 20:46
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    @user5341 The context for the Moor quote is: "Yet Castro has survived. For that accomplishment alone, despite all his flaws [...], you gotta admire the guy". I'm not sure if admiration for surviving assassination attempts really count as praise in this context.
    – tim
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 21:29
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    @KDog If you watch the Sanders video, you will see that Sanders tries to make a point about US interventionism and tries to explain why there wasn't a large uprising against Castro. He later clarified (from the linked article): "Cuba is, of course, an authoritarian, undemocratic country and I hope very much, as soon as possible, it becomes a democratic country". I wouldn't call this praising Castro. But I agree with user5341, this might be a good separate question (maybe with a different/additional source for the claim, which shouldn't be difficult too find).
    – tim
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 21:49
  • 11
    "Homosexual acts remained illegal until 1979". Homosexual acts remained illegal in parts of the US until 2003. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:50
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    @DJClayworth I know, and I think that that is an important point, but I didn't include it as to not unnecessarily politicize my answer.
    – tim
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 16:55

Did Fidel Castro put gay people into concentration camps?

This claim is a fact if you consider "concentration camps" to be metaphoric.

The camps were called UMAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_Units_to_Aid_Production

They were agricultural (forced) labor camps operated by the Cuban government.

This period is known in Cuban history as "Quinquenio Gris" (The Gray Quinquennium). In recent years the Cuban government has discretely started to acknowledge their atrocities during this period.

Here is government-own Wikipedia-like page about the topic in Spanish (watered-down, with lots of added sugar):


Here is a blog-post (in English) from a group of bloggers that support the Cuban government (although they have been censored every now and then by the very same government they claim to support):


Speeches from Fidel Castro that gave birth to the nightmare (also in Spanish):


In the second one he said:

(...) Muchos de esos pepillos vagos, hijos de burgueses, andan por ahí con unos pantaloncitos demasiado estrechos (RISAS); algunos de ellos con una guitarrita en actitudes “elvispreslianas”, y que han llevado su libertinaje a extremos de querer ir a algunos sitios de concurrencia pública a organizar sus shows feminoides por la libre. Que no confundan la serenidad de la Revolución y la ecuanimidad de la Revolución con debilidades de la Revolución. Porque nuestra sociedad no puede darles cabida a esas degeneraciones (APLAUSOS). La sociedad socialista no puede permitir ese tipo de degeneraciones. ¿Jovencitos aspirantes a eso? ¡No! “Arbol que creció torcido...”, ya el remedio no es tan fácil. No voy a decir que vayamos a aplicar medidas drásticas contra esos árboles torcidos, pero jovencitos aspirantes, ¡no! Hay unas cuantas teorías, yo no soy científico, no soy un técnico en esa materia (RISAS), pero sí observé siempre una cosa: que el campo no daba ese subproducto. Siempre observé eso, y siempre lo tengo muy presente.

Summary: He is saying that his Revolution would not accept such kind of "feebleness", such kind of "degeneration". He said that even if he is not a scientist, he observed that agricultural regions never have such kind of "by products".

The first speech gave ground for sending to the UMAPs many writers, , professors, musicians and actors who performed, wrote or filmed something that the government did not like.

With the second speech, hell broke loose, the witch hunting begun, and it lasted several years.

The claim about Democrats praising F.Castro is... well, anecdotal at best. In general terms, it is ridiculous to say that Democrats looked up to him in any way. They were responsible for most of the hardest actions taken against his government over the course of history:


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