Fidel Castro’s Eldest Son, ‘Fidelito,’ Commits Suicide, Cuban State Media Reports

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The eldest son of Cuba’s late revolutionary communist leader, Fidel Castro, has reportedly taken his own life in Havana. According to Cuba’s state media, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart had been battling with deep depression for quite a while and he has reportedly been receiving medical treatment for several months. Castro Díaz-Balart, or more popularly known as “Fidelito,” was the eldest and only recognized offspring of the infamous Cuban leader and his first wife, Mitra Díaz-Balart. Cuban State Media did not detail the circumstances of his apparent suicide, and only revealed that the 68-year-old Cuban political figure was found dead on Thursday morning.

As per a report from the BBC, Castro Díaz-Balart was reportedly going in and out of hospitals for follow-up treatments. It has not been revealed how long exactly the political figure has been dealing with depression or when he was diagnosed. Castro Díaz-Balart and his mother originally moved out of Cuba prior to the Cuban Revolution in 1953. Both stayed in Miami with Mitra’s family while Castro seized power in Cuba. Castro Díaz-Balart later returned to Cuba as a child to visit his father, but he was kept in the country during his entire childhood. When he grew up, he was then assigned by his father to various government positions. Fidel Castro sent his son to the former Soviet Union to study nuclear physics in the Institute of Science and Nuclear Technology.

Upon his return, he was then placed in charge of Cuba’s entire nuclear program. Castro Díaz-Balart recently had a falling out with his father prior to his death in November, 2016. At the time of his death, Castro Díaz-Balart held several positions in Cuba, including being a scientific adviser to the state and the vice president of the country’s Academy of Sciences.

Castro Díaz-Balart was married to Maria Victoria Barreiro and had three children from his previous marriage, namely Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov, Mirta María Castro Smirnova, and Jos­é Raúl Castro Smirnov. Castro Díaz-Balart has a number of politically active family members on his mother’s side in Miami, which includes Florida congressman Mario Díaz-Balart. The Cuban State Media also revealed that Castro Díaz-Balart’s funeral arrangements are being handled by his family, but no other details have been announced.