The mysterious suicide of Fidel Castro Diaz Balart, the popular eldest son of late Cuban President Fidel Castro, has created headlines worldwide. On Thursday, Cuba’s official newspaper Granma reported the death of Fidel jr who was suffering from deep depression and had been treated by a group of doctors for several months now. Popular in the Cuban state for his striking resemblance with father Fidel Castro, Balart is popular with the name of Fidelito. Popularly referred as Castro Jr, Diaz Balart was initially hospitalised for his condition and then continued with outpatient follow-ups.
Born on September 1, 1949, Castro Jr never held a political position. Quite popular in Cuba, he was the son of the revolutionary Castro’s first marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart. Just like his father, Castro Jr was tall and had bushy beards. Many Cubans, admirers of Castro, remember him as a little boy dressed in an olive drab military uniform, accompanying his father on January 8, 1959 as he entered Havana triumphantly after the revolution.
The younger Castro is remembered as someone faithful to his father’s communist ideals. His death came 15 months after that of his father at the age of 90. At his father’s funeral, Castro was joined by five half-siblings that his father had with another wife, Dalia Soto del Valle.
By profession, he was a scientist who studied physics in the former Soviet Union. Castro Jr was serving as the scientific adviser to the Cuban government and was vice president of the country’s Academy of Sciences. Castro was an expert on nanoscience and gave lectures on the issue in his most recent public appearances.
Balart was the son of Mirta Diaz-Balart, a woman from Cuba’s aristocracy. Fidel Sr had married Mirta in his youth, before beginning the revolutionary struggle that later brought him and his brother Raul to power. Because of his maternal lineage, Castro Diaz-Balart is related to US Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who represents Cuban exiles in Florida.