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What's Eating Raúl?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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CARIBBEAN QUEEN Raúl Castro

Over the past six weeks, Americans have learned quite a bit about Raúl Castro, who took over as head of the Cuban government in late July. One thing they haven't been told, however, is something millions of Cubans have long taken for granted: that little bro is gay.

It's not a new rumor by any means, but it has flamed up again in the wake of Fidel Castro's hospitalization for intestinal bleeding. News articles on exile websites about the hand over, which may prove temporary if Fidel ever recovers, are routinely accompanied by reader comments that refer to Raúl as el maricón, a Spanish derogatory term equivalent to "faggot." Some sites claim he is bisexual (he is, after all, married with four children) or a cross-dresser, while others name his alleged partners. Asked how widespread the belief is, a member of a Cuban exile family from Miami told Radar simply, "Everyone knows Raúl is gay."

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