Surprise! Fidel Castro’s exiled daughter still fears him


Imagine what life would be like for you if Fidel Castro was your deadbeat father.

Alina Fernandez Revuelta doesn’t have to imagine it: she has had to live with that reality all of her life.

She was born to socialite Natalia Revuelta in 1956.  Natalia was married to a prominent physician at the time, but had carried out a clandestine  love affair with Fidel Castro — a liaison that began while Fidel was in prison.  His love letters to Natalia from prison are conclusive proof of Fidel’s cushy and privileged incarceration.  While in prison, Fidel was still married to socialite Mirta Diaz-Balart, but the couple divorced in 1955.

Asked to sum up Fidel’s role as father, she says: “I suffered from my bullying and my punishments, and I consider him a person with a rather elevated level of cruelty.”

She snuck out of Cuba in disguise with a fake passport in 1993 and has remained in exile.

And it seems that some journalists have trouble figuring out why she has fled from Castrogonia and does not want to return.

In many ways– given her father’s total control of every Cuban’s life — she represents what has happened to all Cubans.  And this includes family rancor.  Her better-known exiled aunt, Juanita Castro — Fidel’s sister — sued Alina for libel and defamation over her version of the family’s sordid history, especially over certain details concerning Fidel’s parents, Ángel Castro and Lina Ruz.  In 2005, a Spanish court ruled in favor of aunt Juanita, ordering Alina and her publisher to fork over $45,000 as compensation.

According to Wikipedia, a film version of her memoir Castro’s Daughter, is currently in production, and the script is being written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning Nilo Cruz, an exiled Cuban playwright.

Don’t hold your breath.  The two words “Cuban exile” have the same effect on American film makers as a trainload of spilled radioactive waste.

From Global Post:

Fidel’s estranged daughter says she cannot return to Cuba

Miami, May 15 (EFE).- Alina Fernandez Revuelta, the estranged daughter of Fidel Castro, said in an interview with Efe that despite the pain she feels over not being to see her mother, the time is not right for a return to Cuba.

At 58, Alina Fernandez lives in Miami in a humble residence where she shares memories and shows photographs in which, dressed in white, she is embracing her father, a smiling Fidel Castro wearing his traditional olive green military uniform.


She fled Cuba in 1993 and, despite the time that has passed and the fact that the regulations for traveling to the island have been eased, Castro’s daughter has “the sensation and instinct” that she still should not return.

“I don’t want to have problems. At this age a person is less adventurous,” she told Efe with a certain amount of emotion and a long silence broken only to confess that she feels sadness and bitterness about the return that so far has been impossible: “It pains me a lot, because my mother is older.”

Fernandez was born in 1956 to Fidel Castro and Natalia Revuelta, a socialite married to a prominent doctor.

“Seeing your mother and wanting to do something for her is a law of nature, it’s something visceral,” Alina said.

Natalia Revuelta
Natalia Revuelta

Her mother is 88, just a few months older than Castro, whose birthday is in August, but the feelings of a daughter for the man who heavily influenced her life and governed Cuba for half a century are completely different.

Asked how she feels about her father, Alina replied: “I suffered from my bullying and my punishments, and I consider him a person with a rather elevated level of cruelty, but I never came to hate him.”

Alina, who did not learn Castro was her father until she was 10 years old, says now that they never had a close relationship.

“Fidel Castro was not a father. Sometimes he landed at home. He was a capricious visitor, and he had attacks of paternity as well as long periods of distancing himself. He was an omnipresent gentleman on the television, in his speeches, but he was an absent father,” she explains.

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8 thoughts on “Surprise! Fidel Castro’s exiled daughter still fears him

  1. How ridiculous is it that you wear a military costume in private with only family around? Sheesh.

  2. That juicy family imbroglio makes it IDEAL fare for a popular movie in the U.S.–but Prof Carlos is exactly right: it’s about Cuban-exiles–that’s a deal-killer…But if they fashion a screenplay where Castro comes out a sympathetic character–it’s In Like Flint!!!

  3. That photo of the mother can be seen as emblematic of Cuba: doing very well indeed, far above Latrine standards, but taking too much for granted and still not satisfied…wanting more drama, more excitement, more glamourous cinematic (read fantasyland) happiness. What could possibly go wrong? What fools these mortals be.

  4. Ah, Juanita Castro, who had the monumental gall to publicly criticize Cuban exiles for celebrating what looked like the end of Nosferatu and his evil reign. Talk about lack of decorum, not to mention lack of shame. Even if she’d been Fidel’s mother instead of his sister, she should have kept her trap shut out the most basic, elemental consideration for the Cuban people. It’s not just that I cannot possibly respect her after such a gesture, but that I find any Cuban who’s OK with such indecent insensitivity extremely dubious–including Carlos Alberto Montaner, who seems to be on very friendly terms with the woman. Ugh.

  5. “A Spanish court ruled in favor of aunt Juanita.” Imagine that. Fidel’s horrid (biological) Spanish father was like the poisoned apple the witch gave to Snow White, only there was no happy ending. It still seems incredible the Spanish show so little recognition, let alone remorse, for screwing Cuba over so very, VERY badly. It’s almost as if they really can’t see it. Almost.

  6. Have any of you read Juanita Castro’s white washed family biography [more like hagiography] written in order to counter Alina’s excellent and revealing biography, “Alina, memories de la hija rebelled de fidel castro?” I haven’t read it all, but, I glanced through it and that was enough to make me sick. She depicted raul as a kind, thoughtful son and her mother and father as something akin to June and Ward Cleaver. In fact, reading the biography, you might think that you are reading about the Cleaver family living next door instead of the most diabolical family to ever call Cuba home. Juanita may have been solidly pro-exile in the early years of her life in the US, but as of let, I am sorely disappointed with her. She should have swallowed her pride and never sued her niece. Face it, she put her family pride ahead of the well-being of Cuba. And let me remind everyone, this lady has no right to do that. Her family has caused so much harm to Cuba that if she had an decorum, she would just suck it up.

    Regarding the proposed movie on Alina’s life, if Nilo Cruz is writing the script, I am highly hesitant. Cruz is one of those Cubans that tip toes ever so lightly over Cuba that he never has anything critical to say about the regime. In fact, I know someone who met him and started talking to him about political prisoners inside Cuba and he looked at guy and said, “I didn’t know that there were political prisoners in Cuba.” Nilo Cruz is one of those shitty Cubans that doesn’t want to rock the boat. You know, another Mirta Ojito, Lisandro Perez, Cristina Garcia type. No wonder, he got a Pulitzer Prize for that crappy play, “Anna in the Tropics.”

  7. Juanita Castro, even if she’d always exercised impeccable discretion, is tainted by her family. She cannot be blamed for that, but she can definitely be blamed for giving even the slightest offense to the Cuban people, which coming from her or any member of that family is intolerable and absolutely unacceptable. The fact she has been both indiscreet and offensive suggests a serious lack of class, and I’m not talking about the “class” of, say, the Kennedy family, but the real thing. The book business was bad enough, but the incredible impropriety of criticizing Cuban exiles for celebrating the expected demise of the worst and most destructive Cuban in history was way, WAY beyond the pale.

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