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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 24 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 04
Cuba arrests anti-Gay Russian gang leader
Section One
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Cuba arrests anti-Gay Russian gang leader

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Violent anti-Gay Russian gang leader Maksim 'The Cleaver' Martsinkevich was arrested in Cuba on January 19, according to Russian news agency RIA Novotsi.

Martsinkevich reportedly fled to Cuba in December to escape a Russian prison term on charges of 'extremism.' Martsinkevich was tried in absentia - which is legal in Russia - and sentenced to more than three years in prison.

He is the leader of the group 'Occupy Pedophilia' which uses social media to lure Gay men to isolated spots, then kidnaps and tortures them. Home videos of Martsinkevich and his associates abusing their Gay victims have been posted online.

One of the gang's victims reportedly died as a result of his ordeal, but it remains unclear whether the man died of injuries sustained in the attack or committed suicide when videos showing his face were posted online.

Cuban authorities did not confirm or deny the reported arrest. According to one of Martsinkevich's blog posts from Cuba, an Interpol warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Cuba is an Interpol member state, and has been advancing rapidly towards a Gay-friendly legal system.

On December 21, Cuba's legislature passed a landmark LGBT civil rights bill, protecting Cubans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Much of the progress has been credited to Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro, and niece of revolutionary founder Fidel Castro. The organization she heads, the National Center for Sex Education, has done extensive education work informing Cubans that same-sex attraction is normal. The group also spearheads Cuba's HIV/AIDS prevention work.

In a remarkable 2010 interview with the Mexican newspaper Jornada, Mariela's uncle Fidel apologized for his government's persecution of LGBT Cubans in the early days of the revolution.

It was 'a great injustice, a great injustice!' Fidel Castro admitted. 'If anyone is responsible, it's me.... We had so many and such terrible problems, problems of life or death. In those moments, I was not able to deal with that matter.'

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