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Posted on Tuesday, 08.05.14

’s daughter Alina Fernandez visits Cuba to be with ailing
mother
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

Alina Fernandez, the rebellious daughter of Cuban former ruler Fidel
Castro, has gone from Miami to Havana to be with her seriously ill
mother. It’s her first trip back since 1993, when she escaped the island
using a false passport and wig.

A woman who answered the phone Tuesday at the home of the 88-year-old
mother, Natalia “Naty” Revuelta Clews, said Fernandez was out of the
house but would be back in the evening. She later said the family was
focusing on Revuelta and would not make a comment.

Max Lesnik, a Miamian who has friends high in the Cuban government and
regularly travels to Cuba, reported in his El Duende column Tuesday that
Fernandez, 58 and a Miami radio personality, has been spotted in Havana.

The visit by Fernandez, a regular and strident critic of Castro and his
government, could mark another advance in the long-hostile relations
between the Cuban government and Cubans abroad who oppose the communist
system.

Her visit was presumed to have been approved by the Cuban government,
whose security services control all who enter and leave the nation.
Among other recent visitors have been wealthy exile businessmen Paul
Cejas, Carlos Saladrigas, and Alfie Fanjul.

In her 1998 autobiography, Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba,
Fernandez criticized her father as a distant and wrote that she
was closer to his brother, current Cuba ruler Raúl Castro, describing
him as a good family man.

“He was the person to whom you could go to and ask for help every time
you had a practical problem,” she added in a 2008 interview with Foreign
Policy magazine. On personal issues, she added, “Fidel was totally
unhelpful.”

Just six weeks ago, Fernandez told the EFE news agency in Miami that it
was not the right time for her to return to Cuba, even though it was
“very sad” that she could not see her 88-year-old mother and described
her father as cruel.

“I don’t want problems” in Cuba, Fernandez said in the interview. “It
makes me very sad, because my mother is old” and “to see your mother and
to want to do something for her is a law of nature, something visceral.”

Friends of Fernandez say Revuelta fell and broke a leg recently and has
been in declining for several months.

Fernandez was born in 1956 after Revuelta, a Havana beauty then married
to Orlando Fernandez, had an affair with Fidel Castro, then a young
revolutionary and lawyer divorced from Mirta Diaz-Balart.

She was raised by her mother but knew from the age of 10 that Castro was
her father and worked variously as a model in a combination clothing
shop-nightclub in Havana and as public-relations director for a clothing
line.

Long known for her harsh croticisms of Fidel Castro, she fled Cuba for
in 1993 using false documents and a disguise arranged by Elena
Díaz-Verson Amos, a Cuban-born woman married to a wealthy American and
living in Georgia.

Asked in the EFE interview if she hated her father, she said, “No. Hate
him, no. Hate is too strong a word. … I see him as having a pretty
elevated level of cruelty, but I never reached the point of hating him.
Never.”

Fernandez moved to Miami with her daughter, Alina “Mumín” Salgado.
Fernandez wrote columns for el Nuevo Herald from 2009-2010, and for many
years hosted a program on WQBA radio called Simplemente Alina (Simply
Alina). She now has a short segment weekdays during the 3-5 pm slot on
WWFE-670 AM.

Juanita Castro, sister of Fidel and Raúl, won a $45,000 judgment against
Fernández in a Spanish court, arguing that the autobiography’s portrayal
of the Castros’ parents, Angel Castro and Lina Ruz, libeled the family.

Two years ago, Fernandez filed suit to recover $100,000 she paid toward
the purchase of a $1.6 million house in Kendall. Several Miami men have
been and charged with a real-estate scam.

Asked by EFE if she would ever like to meet with Fidel Castro again, she
said, “That’s not a realistic possibility. … I believe that there’s an
absolute lack of interest on both sides. I have nothing to say to him.”

As for how her father will be regarded years down the road, she said,
“For Cubans, the legacy of Castro is a country ruined and with part of
its people in exile, an experience very hard and very difficult to cure.”

Source: Fidel Castro’s daughter Alina Fernandez visits Cuba to be with
ailing mother – Cuba – MiamiHerald.com –
http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/08/05/4273966/fidel-castros-daughter-alina-fernandez.html

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