Revolutionary Cuban dictator and polarized world figure Fidel Castro lived quite the luxurious life until his death on November 25th, 2016 at the age of 90. At the time of his death, Fidel Castro’s total earning was estimated at a whopping $900 million. However, Castro strongly opposed that figure throughout his lifetime.
Fidel Castro Biography, Facts, Rise to Power
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born with a silver spoon on August 13, 1926, in Birán, Oriente. Literally, Castro never experienced poverty throughout his lifetime. His father was a wealthy sugar cane farmer who migrated to Cuba from Spain. Castro attended several boarding schools which offered topnotch education. However, he had more passion for non-classroom activities like baseball and managed to score mediocre grades.
Ironically, Castro also enjoyed reading as a child and soon developed an affinity towards politics. At the age of 12, he penned a letter to the then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt congratulating him on his victory. In the letter, Castro requested from the president a $10 bill which he had never seen before.
Castro’s interest in politics grew further while he studied law at the University of Havana. As a law student, he identified as an anti-imperialist. He began his political career by leading rebellious protests over the opposing right-wing governments in Colombia and Dominican Republic. Later, Castro led a failed coup against the Moncada Barracks in 1953 in an attempt to dethrone Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. Consequently, he was imprisoned for a year.
After Castro’s release from prison, he teamed with his brother Raul Castro and formed a stronger revolutionary group in Mexico. At the second try, Castro unseated Batista and assumed as the country’s Prime Minister. Castro served as Prime Minister from 1959 to 1976 and then as President from 1976 to 2008. He also became the first Secretary of Communist Party of Cuba from 1961 to 2011. Castro’s brother Raul Castro took over the Presidential throne in 2008 and has since ruled the country.
In total, Fidel ruled over Cuba for 49 years, making him the third longest-ruling head of state behind Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand. The latter also recently passed away making Queen Elizabeth the longest-ruling one alive.
Fidel Castro Children, Siblings, Family
Several details about Fidel Castro’s life, especially the ones connected with his family, are scarce and usually censored. However, according to his biographer, Robert Quirk, Fidel Castro was “unable to form a lasting sexual relationship with any female.”
Castro first got married in October 1948 to Mirta Diaz-Balart. In September 1949, the couple had a son Fidel Angel “Fidelito” Castro Diaz-Balart. However, their marriage didn’t last long before it hit the rocks in a 1955 divorce after which Mirta Diaz-Balart moved to Spain, reportedly returning years later in 2002 to live with her son. Fidelito, on the other hand, remained in Cuba with his father, where he grew up and was once the leader of the atomic-energy commission under his father’s regime before his father removed him following a misunderstanding.
During his years married to Mirta, Fidel Castro had an affair with Natalia “Naty” Revuelta Clews, who had a daughter for him by the name of Alina Fernandez Revuelta. Sometime in 1993, disguised as a Spanish tourist, Alina left Cuba and was granted asylum in the U.S. She has ever since been an outspoken critic of her father’s regime and methods.
Fidel Castro had many one-night stands with several women who were usually specially handpicked for him by foreign allies and friends.
By an unnamed woman, he had a son, Jorge Angel Castro. And a daughter – Francisca Pupo -in 1953, by another woman. Francisca Pupo lives in Miami today with her husband.
Fidel Castro got married to a second woman, Dalia Soto del Valle, and she produced five sons: Antonio, Alejandro, Alexis, Alexander “Alex” and Angel Castro Soto del Valle.
Fidel Castro came from a family of seven children, and one of his sisters, Juanita Castro, has been in the US since the ’60s. She is also an outspoken critic and opponent of Castro’s regime.
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Fidel Castro’s Finances
As stated earlier, Castro was born with a silver spoon. On his father’s extensive sugar plantation where he was born and bred, was also a pub, hotel, primary school, post office, a cock fighting ring and a market store. It was more than an estate. The property measured over 25,000 acres and employed about 400 staff. In addition to the sugar plantation, Castro’s father also owned several other landed properties in the city. His late father is buried on the property which is now called Castro Museum.
The original residential building on the plantation which dates 1915 was burnt down in 1954, however, it was replaced by an exact replica in 1974 (pictured).
Accustomed to luxe living, Castro equally built an empire of his own. However, in an attempt to identify with his people, the ruler of impoverished Cuba spoke more about his grandparents who according to him were exploited Galician peasants from Spain.
In 1995, Forbes estimated his net worth at $150 million and in 2013 at $1 billion. Following the release of Forbes’ 2005 issue which put his numbers at $900 million, Castro was extremely fumed and threatened to sue the American publication. He took to TV to debunk what he claimed were outrageous speculations. In the interview, Castro said;
“It is so ridiculous to say I have a fortune of $900 million, a fortune with no heirs……If they can prove that I have a bank account abroad, with $900 million, with $1 million, $500,000, $100,000 or $1 in it, I will resign…..If they prove that I have a single dollar, I’ll resign my post… there will be no need for plans or transitions…”
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Castro owned vast residential properties in his country. Among them include a chalet in Pinar del Río, a home with a private marina in Cayo Piedra, and La Deseada.
His best-known property was his retiring home Punto Cero translated Point Zero. The 75-acre gated estate included a cow farm, a golf course and an orchard with mandarin, orange, grapefruit, banana and lemon trees.
However, Castro’s final residence was concealed even from Cubans as a result of the endless assassination attempts he faced mostly from the United States of America. Castro survived a whopping 600 assassination attempts which included poisoned milkshakes and exploding cigars. Apparently, Castro was far from just a dictator, he was superhuman and his legacy, we dare say, would surely live on.
Fidel Castro Death
Castro reportedly died on the night of November 25, 2016, from an undisclosed cause. His brother, President Raul Castro, confirmed the news. Fidel Castro was cremated on November 26, 2016.
His funeral procession spanned over 900 kilometers through the central highway of the island, tracing in reverse, the “Freedom caravan” of January 1959.
There were a total of nine days of mourning throughout the entirety of Cuba. Fidel Castro’s ashes are entombed in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetry in Santiago de Cuba.