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.
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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