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Castro accepts blame for revolution's homophobia

Continuing his image rehabilitation campaign, ex-Cuban President Fidel Castro called the rampant homophobia in the initial stages of his revolution a "great injustice."

During an interview with La Jornada, Castro said that while he was not prejudiced against gays, the blame for the homophobic atmosphere lay only with himself. He claims that he was "too busy" with other matters -- such as trying to survive U.S. assassination attempts -- to deal with the discriminatory policies.

In the same interview, Castro also claimed that he nearly died four years ago, and that he wished to stop what he believed to be an imminent nuclear war between Iran, the United States, and Israel.

Cuban homosexuals were branded as counterrevolutionaries and sent to detention camps for the first decade of Castro's rule. In 1970, homosexual acts were decriminalized. (Cuba now provides free sex changes.)

It's a bit late, but Castro deserves plaudits for his words.

Ricardo Stuckert/Brazlian Presidency via Getty Images

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Qaddafi returns to Rome

Media machine and Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qadaffi pitched his infamous tent for his fourth Italian trip in the last year on Sunday, and wasted very little time in adding to his list of classics when commenting on Europe's immigration problems:

Libya turns to the European Union to support what Libya asks because Europe, in the future, might not be Europe any more but might turn black because of all the illegal immigrants.

It gets better:

We don't know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans … We don't know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.

(Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was standing right next to Qaddafi when he made his comments.)

Qadaffi and Berlusconi are apparently firm friends. In 2008, Berlusconi signed an agreement granting the North African nation $5 billion over 25 years as reparations for Italy's former colonial rule. Last year, Qaddafi agreed to take in migrants intercepted at sea by Italy, and he is now requesting an additional $6.3 billion to help pay for costs associated with the policy. Controversially, Italy does not screen the migrants for refugee status before shipping them back across the Mediterranean to squalid detention camps.

While in Rome, Qaddafi also delivered an address to a few hundred women -- selected by a modeling agency -- in which he encouraged them to convert to Islam:

May Islam be the religion of all of Europe, convert to Islam, the true religion.

Three women allegedly converted on the spot. (He made a similar pitch last November.) The visit also included a horse show -- for which Qaddafi brought 30 Berber horses -- on Monday.

Can someone get this man on Twitter?

Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images