Cuban state media announced that Fidel Castro’s oldest son, Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, age 68, a.k.a. Fidelito, ended his life:
Castro Díaz-Balart was the only son of Fidel and his first wife, Mirta Díaz-Balart, who were divorced before the Cuban revolution. As a child, he was the subject of a nasty custody battle — with his mother, having kidnapped and moving with him to live in New York. He eventually landed back in Cuba when after his father seized power in 1959.
Castro Díaz-Balart was trained in the Soviet Union as a nuclear physicist and served as a scientific adviser to Cuba’s Council of State.
Fidel Sr had ten other children.
There is much speculation regarding the news: Carlos Eire writes,
To paraphrase Hamlet, something smells rotten in the kingdom of Castrogonia.
The Ministry of Truth attributes the suicide to depression.
But… one must wonder about the timing of all this, as King Raul approaches his sideways shuffle from the public throne to a hidden one, and issues of succession are at stake.
Think Game of Thrones. Think Sopranos. Think Godfather….
As for Fidelito: who can imagine what it was like to have Fidel for a father and Raul for an uncle?
Fidel kidnapped him at a young age, after he divorced his mother. And that was just at the beginning of a very miserable life.
Miserable it must have been, yes, but he did live like the prince he was, along with all the other princes and princesses of the Castro dynasty.
Fidel Sr paraded Junior in olive green fatigues as a child. As an adult, Jr was head of Cuba’s nuclear program. When that fell through,
Those dreams came crashing down along with the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union’s implosion robbed Cuba, for a time, of its greatest benefactor. At the same time, insurmountable technical and financial problems doomed the plant — which became an abandoned Cold War relic. The elder Castro publicly blamed his son, whom he unceremoniously fired in 1992.
Years ago there were rumors – which I cannot verify – that Sr had Jr placed under house arrest.
Fidelito, by all accounts, was marginalized by his uncle Raúl, Cuba’s dictator since 2006 (Raúl was acting president from 2006 to 2008, and has been president officially since 2008).
The Miami Herald points out that
The suicide rate in Cuba is among the highest in the Americas, according to a 2014 study by the Pan American Health Organization, a regional office of the World Health Organization.
Fidelito is, directly or indirectly, one more casualty of the Revolución.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog