Fidel Castro’s firstborn joined a long list of suicides in Cuba

Fidel Castro’ s eldest child has joined a long list of public statistics who have taken their own lives in the country with one of the highest prices of suicide.

In the rare exercise of transparency, the particular Cuban official press on Thurs reported that Fidel Castro Dí az-Balart, 68, committed suicide right after suffering from deep depression for months. Based on various versions, which el Nuevo Herald has not been able to confirm, their death occurred under circumstances that might be difficult to hide.

Gossips ranged from Castro Dí az-Balart capturing himself to jumping off the developing in the Kohly neighborhood where he had been receiving treatment.

Neighbours said there was a flurry associated with security activity around the Clinica sobre Seguridad Personal, a pink plus buff colored military hospital within the Kohly neighborhood, on Thursday plus Friday morning. But by Fri evening the neighborhood, where many army families live, was quiet. Often there is tight security in Kohly along with police posted on many edges.


Clinica de Seguridad Private, a pink and buff coloured military hospital in the Kohly community, where Fidel Castro Dí az-Balart was reportedly getting treatment intended for depression.

Mimi Whitefield mwhitefield@miamiherald. com

One neighbor said Castro Dí az-Balart locked himself in a fourth-floor room at the clinic and wouldn’ t let doctors enter, prior to throwing himself through a window plus landing in front of the building not not even close to the Cuban flag, which continued to be at full staff Friday.

Another neighbor said that regarding two months ago, he saw Castro Dí az-Balart waiting at a coach stop in the neighborhood, and another noticed him walking around Kohly.

If any of the death versions are usually true, it would help explain precisely why the official press reacted so rapidly to announce the suicide and promote details about his depression with the inhabitants.

Reached by cell phone in Havana, Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov — the son associated with Castro Dí az-Balart with 1st wife Olga Smirnova — mentioned he would not make statements towards the press and asked for “ regard for the privacy of the family at the moment. ”

In Arkansas, Juanita Castro, sister of the present ruler Raú l Castro as well as the late Fidel Castro, said the lady did not know the details of her nephew’ s death. Mirta Dí az-Balart, Castro Dí az-Balart’ s mom and Fidel Castro’ s initial wife, lives in Spain but moves to the island frequently and has been “ on her way to Cuba plus probably already there, ” Juanita Castro said Friday. She stated she lamented the death associated with her nephew but would not end up being attending the funeral. According to the formal announcement and a statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, the funeral is going to be strictly family, not a state wedding ceremony.

On the island, information of the suicide did not raise eye brows.

Cuba has among the highest rates of suicide within Latin America with 17 fatalities per 100, 000 inhabitants, based on the World Health Organization. According to Cuba’ s most recent statistics, in 2015 there were 2, 535 deaths “ due to self-inflicted injuries, ” the particular eighth cause of death that 12 months, above diabetes and cirrhosis from the liver.

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“ The phenomenon of suicide is definitely part of Cuba’ s culture as well as its political culture, ” said Lou Pé rez Jr., a teacher at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and author from the book “ To Die within Cuba. Suicide and Society. ”

Several public numbers have committed suicide in the past many decades on the island. In 51, Cuban radio listeners were surprised when the influential politician Eduardo Chibá s fired a gun while on the environment. Chibá s died days later on from the self-inflicted wounds to their leg. Osvaldo Dorticó s, the 2nd president after Fidel Castro went up to power in 1959, furthermore shot himself in 1983 right after suffering from depression. Three years earlier, within 1980, Haydeé Santamarí a, the central figure of the arts initially of the revolution, reportedly used the shotgun to kill herself.

“ The phenomenon from the suicide of public figures is definitely an illustration of what happens among the human population in general. Cubans have that good suicide, which goes as far back as the particular indigenous population and slavery, ” Pé rez said. In Cuban culture, the historian added, there is certainly “ the phenomenon of devoted suicide, ” exemplified in key phrases within the national anthem like “ dying for the motherland is living” and later in the socialist saying “ motherland or death. ”

Suicide became the taboo subject during the first years of the revolution led by Fidel Castro, because it did not fit into the particular socialism narrative of being content. Plus although the official press reported the particular deaths of Dorticó s plus Santamarí a, the episodes had been shrouded in mystery and are hardly mentioned in history books on the isle.

Other Cuba observers have pointed to the symbolism from the suicide of Fidel Castro’ t firstborn, a little more than a year following the ruler’ s own death.

“ The suicide associated with Fidel Castro Dí az-Balart is really a metaphor for a revolution that does not take its children, but somehow attracts them to take their own lives, ” wrote Cuban writer and reporter Carlos Alberto Montaner on Tweets. “ It happened to Osvaldo Dorticó s, former president, plus Nilsa Espí n, sister-in-law associated with Raú l Castro. ”

The news of Castro Dí az-Balart’ s death has also created speculation about an alleged strength struggle between the families of Raú t and Fidel Castro.

“ There has been some speculation from the anger and disappointment of Fidel’ s family after General Raú l Castro became president great children took the spotlight plus hardly anything else was heard of Fidel’ s offspring, ” said Honest Calzon, director of the Washington-based Middle for a Free Cuba.

“ There is no way of knowing when the tense relations between the Castros within Cuba, or the recent death associated with Fidel, or the dramatic economic plus social crisis on the island got anything to do with Castro Dí az-Balart’ s death, ” Calzon added.

“ We met Fidelito, the eldest child of Fidel a few times. He has been well-liked, exceptionally smart and progressive in a handful of languages, ” Ann Louise Bardach, who interviewed Fidel Castro on several occasions, published in an email. “ A Russian-trained physicist, he shared his father’ s intellectual curiosity and interest for the sciences. What makes this specifically tragic is that he was the just son of Mirta Dí az-Balart, 90. ” Dí az-Balart offers two other daughters in Spain.

Castro Dí az-Balart, generally known as “ Fidelito” on the island, a new difficult childhood in the midst of a brutal battle for his custody, Bardach wrote years ago in an article for your Washington Post.

Within 1954, while Fidel Castro is at prison for assaulting the Moncada barracks, he learned that his spouse wanted a divorce and that she acquired taken Fidelito with her towards the United States. His wife’ s loved ones was connected to the same government that will Castro wanted to overthrow. After dropping custody of his son, Castro wrote to one of his siblings that, “ One day I’ lmost all be out of here and I’ ll get my son plus my honor back — set up earth should be destroyed in the process. ”

After leaving jail and going into exile in South america, Castro begged Dí az-Balart to deliver the boy to Mexico just before he embarked on the expedition that could ultimately launch the revolution within Cuba. He gave his term as a “ gentleman” that he would certainly return the boy after fourteen days. He did not. His mother after that used her family’ s impact to hire three men to kidnap Fidelito as he was walking within a park with two of Castro’ s sisters, Bardach reported. Juanita Castro confirmed the details of the occurrence to el Nuevo Herald.

The boy ultimately came back to New York with his mother. Right after he seized control in late 1950s, Castro once again appealed to her using a request to send the child to Havana. Fidelito returned to the island together with his father.

As a teen, Fidelito’ s behavior abroad as soon as embarrassed Castro, as reported by Miami Herald in 1967. Castro sent his son on a visit of several socialist countries. Fidelito escaped from a hospital where he obtained treatment for pneumonia and squeezed on a plane back to Havana. Whenever he returned, Castro punished your pet by not letting him depart a mansion in a Havana region near the former Country Club.

This would not be the only episode by which Castro Dí az-Balart was openly humiliated by his father. Within 1992, he was fired simply by Castro for “ inefficiency” since the head of the construction of a nuclear power plant in Cienfuegos.

After several years of ostracism, Dí az-Balart returned to general public life but with a low profile. Lately, he was seen posing in the selfie with Paris Hilton within Havana.

“ Within Castro Dí az-Balart, all the associated with the heir’ s orphanhood should have come together. In a very short time, his atmosphere changed dramatically, ” said Cuban writer and historian Rafael Rojas. “ The government of his granddad altered not a few rules from the game within the Cuban political course and put the elites in flow. The suicide of Castro Dí az-Balart serves as another evidence of that will metamorphosis of Cuban socialism. ”