"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What did Fidel Castro do before the Cuban Revolution?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Obtaining his Doctorate of Law in September 1950, he co-opened an unsuccessful law firm before entering parliamentary politics as a Partido Ortodoxo candidate."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What happened as a result of Castro's revolution in Cuba?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro's government began a program of nationalization, centralization of the press and political consolidation that transformed Cuba's economy and civil society, that angered both sectors of the Cuban population and the American government."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How many kids did Fidel Castro have with his second wife?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"After the collapse of his first marriage he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González (1903–1963)—of Canarian ancestry—as his mistress and later second wife; together they had seven children, among them Fidel."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who did Fidel Castro love?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Ilona Marita Lorenz (18 August 1939 – 31 August 2019) was a German woman who had an affair with Fidel Castro in 1959 and in January 1960 was involved in an assassination attempt by the CIA on Castro's life. In the 1970s and 1980s, she testified about the John F."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who is Fidel best wife?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"The younger investigator, Fidel has an unseen but pregnant wife, Juliette (who gives birth to a daughter, Rosie, in the first series' finale)."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What caused Fidel Castro's death?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Council of State, Fidel Castro died of natural causes at 22:29 (CST) on the evening of 25 November 2016, at the age of 90."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who took over after Fidel Castro?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"As First Secretary, he is the most powerful person in the Cuban government. Díaz-Canel succeeds the brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro, making him the first non-Castro leader of Cuba since the revolution, and as well as the first non-Castro head of state since 1976."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Is Cuba poor or rich?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"According to a 2022 report from the Cuban Human Rights Observatory (OCDH), 72 percent of Cubans live below the poverty line. 21 percent of Cubans who live below the poverty line frequently go without breakfast, lunch or dinner due to a lack of money. Pensions are among the smallest in the Americas at $9.50/month."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who runs Cuba now?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"
President of Cuba
President of the Republic of Cuba
Presidential standard
Incumbent Miguel Díaz-Canel since 10 October 2019
Presidential Office of Cuba Executive branch of the Government of Cuba
StyleMr President (informal) His Excellency (diplomatic)
16 more rows
"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How many times was Fidel Castro almost assassinated?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Fidel Castro survived over 600 assassination attempts, as well as attempts to end his political career in other ways."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Why was Russia so interested in Cuba?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Cuba and the Soviet Union

Diplomatic ties between the Soviet Union and Cuba were established after the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Cuba became dependent on Soviet markets and military aid and was a major ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Why did people leave Cuba after the revolution?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"After the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, a Cuban exodus began as the new government allied itself with the Soviet Union and began to introduce communism. From 1960 to 1979, tens of thousands of Cubans left Cuba."}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Who was the president of Cuba before Castro?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (born Rubén Zaldívar; January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and as a military dictator from 1952 until his overthrow in the Cuban Revolution in 1958."}}]}}

Mirta Díaz-Balart, wife of Fidel Castro before Cuban revolution, dies at 95 (2024)

Mirta Díaz-Balart, a member of prominent Cuban family who was married to Fidel Castro during his rise as a guerrilla leader, and who later was forced to leave their son behind when she fled after Castro’s communist forces seized control, died in Madrid at age 95.

The death was announced July 6 by her grandson, Fidel Alejandro Castro Smirnov, in a social media post, but no other details were given.

Ms. Díaz-Balart, whose seven-year marriage with Castro ended in 1955, was a symbol of Castro’s complicated history: a man of relative privilege who married into a wealthy and well-connected clan that he turned against.

Her family occupied a political dynasty that was closely connected to Fulgencio Batista, the strongman president who was overthrown by Castro’s rebels in January 1959. She then was among the matriarchs of the Cuban diaspora — concentrated in South Florida — that included nephews elected to Congress, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and former congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

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Ms. Díaz-Balart had remarried by the time Castro’s insurgents took control. She and her new family fled the country but had to leave behind the son she had with Castro, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, known as Fidelito.

After Castro’s death in 2016, she told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo that she had visited Havana several times to see her son. “But I have never seen or spoken to Fidel again,” she added. She called their marriage “something distant” from their youth.

“But also as a very beautiful period of my youth,” she said. “I always wished him good things.”

Their son, a nuclear scientist, took his own life in 2018 after a struggle with depression, Cuba’s state media reported.

Mirta Francisca de la Caridad Díaz-Balart y Gutiérrez was born Sept. 30, 1928, in Banes, Cuba, where her father served as mayor. Banes was also the birthplace of Batista in 1901.

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While studying philosophy and literature at the University of Havana, she met Castro. He was studying law and came from a family that owned a 2,000-acre plantation in eastern Cuba. The couple was married in 1948 and went to the United States on an extended honeymoon. A wedding photo shows a clean-shaven Castro next to Ms. Díaz-Balart in a white gown and holding a bouquet.

In New York, they stayed at a brownstone on West 82nd Street near Central Park while Castro browsed bookshops (astonished to find works by Marx and Soviet writers) and Ms. Díaz-Balart indulged in shopping sprees. In Miami, they spent several weeks at a Miami Beach hotel. Their son was born in 1949.

Castro received his law degree in 1950 and set up a legal practice in Havana. The couple had political ambitions. He ran for a seat in the Cuban legislature with the populist Ortodoxo Party. But the campaign was halted in March 1952 when Batista staged a coup and retook the presidency he first held in the 1940s. (The post-coup parliament included Ms. Díaz-Balart’s brother, Rafael, who served until 1956.)

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Castro became an archfoe of the Bastista regime — as well as Batista’s allies such as Ms. Díaz-Balart’s family. She was caught in the middle.

In July 1953, Castro led a failed attempt to take over the army’s Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Castro was among those arrested but was spared execution after appeals for leniency by an archbishop with ties to his family. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and released two years later under an amnesty declared by Batista.

Ms. Díaz-Balart became a curiosity in the eyes of the Cuban public. By birth she was squarely in the Batista camp; by marriage she was with the insurgents. She was among the few people allowed to visit Castro in prison on what is now called the Isla de la Juventud, or Isle of Youth.

After Castro left prison, he went into self-exile in Mexico City, where he led an anti-Batista faction known as the 26th of July Movement, commemorating the date of the Moncada assault.

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Ms. Díaz-Balart stayed in Cuba to seek a divorce. According to her accounts, the marriage ended because of Castro’s affair with a married Havana socialite, Natalia Revuelta Clews, known as Naty. Castro and Revuelta had a daughter, Alina Fernández, who fled Cuba for the United States in 1993 and became an opponent of Castro’s government.

The 2019 book, “Young Castro” by journalist Jonathan M. Hansen, presented Castro’s version of the strains in their marriage. Hansen described Castro of becoming enraged when he heard a radio report in prison that this wife had been dismissed from a no-show job in the Batista government. “Castro couldn’t imagine Mirta ever taking a job in the government of his sworn enemy,” wrote Hansen, “no matter how strapped she was for cash.”

After the divorce, Ms. Díaz-Balart and her son spent time in the United States before returning to Cuba. She once sent her son to Mexico to visit Castro, but he did not allow the boy to return. She hired a team to snatch her son and bring him back to Cuba.

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She soon married Emilio Núñez Portuondo, a lawyer and son of a Cuban diplomat. Castro, meanwhile, was building a guerrilla militia from mountain hideouts in Cuba after returning in December 1956 with more than 80 followers aboard the “Granma,” a vessel whose name was later adopted by the Communist Party newspaper in Cuba.

Shortly after Castro took power, Ms. Díaz-Balart and her husband fled the country. Castro demanded his son Fidelito remain in Cuba.

For decades, Cuba’s state-controlled media rarely mentioned Ms. Díaz-Balart and she avoided public attention, fearing she could be targeted by anti-Castro factions. She was in frequent contact with her son, however. In 2008, she made a rare appearance in Cuban media. She joined her son at an event at the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana that was covered by Cuban journalists.

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Her husband died in 2006. Ms. Díaz-Balart’s brother, Waldo Díaz-Balart, is a Madrid-based artist. Complete information on survivors was not immediately available. Her extended family includes nephew José Díaz-Balart, a newscaster on the broadcast network Telemundo and MSNBC.

A onetime Castro confidant, John T. Skelly, once described sitting with Ms. Díaz-Balart at her home in Havana in January 1959 to watch television coverage of Castro’s triumphant entrance into the capital.

He told a Miami Herald reporter in 2015 that he recalled Ms. Díaz-Balart’s comments to him that day, first recounted in the book “Cuba Confidential” (2002) by Ann Louise Bardach: “She said, ‘If he’s as good a leader as he was a father and husband, poor Cuba.’”

Mirta Díaz-Balart, wife of Fidel Castro before Cuban revolution, dies at 95 (2024)

FAQs

Who was Fidel Castro's first wife? ›

Mirta Díaz-Balart, a member of prominent Cuban family who was married to Fidel Castro during his rise as a guerrilla leader, and who later was forced to leave their son behind when she fled after Castro's communist forces seized control, died in Madrid at age 95.

Who was Fidel Castro's wife? ›

What did Fidel Castro do before the Cuban Revolution? ›

Obtaining his Doctorate of Law in September 1950, he co-opened an unsuccessful law firm before entering parliamentary politics as a Partido Ortodoxo candidate.

What happened as a result of Castro's revolution in Cuba? ›

In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro's government began a program of nationalization, centralization of the press and political consolidation that transformed Cuba's economy and civil society, that angered both sectors of the Cuban population and the American government.

How many kids did Fidel Castro have with his second wife? ›

After the collapse of his first marriage he took his household servant, Lina Ruz González (1903–1963)—of Canarian ancestry—as his mistress and later second wife; together they had seven children, among them Fidel.

Who did Fidel Castro love? ›

Ilona Marita Lorenz (18 August 1939 – 31 August 2019) was a German woman who had an affair with Fidel Castro in 1959 and in January 1960 was involved in an assassination attempt by the CIA on Castro's life. In the 1970s and 1980s, she testified about the John F.

Who is Fidel best wife? ›

The younger investigator, Fidel has an unseen but pregnant wife, Juliette (who gives birth to a daughter, Rosie, in the first series' finale).

What caused Fidel Castro's death? ›

Former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Council of State, Fidel Castro died of natural causes at 22:29 (CST) on the evening of 25 November 2016, at the age of 90.

Who took over after Fidel Castro? ›

As First Secretary, he is the most powerful person in the Cuban government. Díaz-Canel succeeds the brothers Fidel and Raúl Castro, making him the first non-Castro leader of Cuba since the revolution, and as well as the first non-Castro head of state since 1976.

Is Cuba poor or rich? ›

According to a 2022 report from the Cuban Human Rights Observatory (OCDH), 72 percent of Cubans live below the poverty line. 21 percent of Cubans who live below the poverty line frequently go without breakfast, lunch or dinner due to a lack of money. Pensions are among the smallest in the Americas at $9.50/month.

Who runs Cuba now? ›

President of Cuba
President of the Republic of Cuba
Presidential standard
Incumbent Miguel Díaz-Canel since 10 October 2019
Presidential Office of Cuba Executive branch of the Government of Cuba
StyleMr President (informal) His Excellency (diplomatic)
16 more rows

How many times was Fidel Castro almost assassinated? ›

Fidel Castro survived over 600 assassination attempts, as well as attempts to end his political career in other ways.

Why was Russia so interested in Cuba? ›

Cuba and the Soviet Union

Diplomatic ties between the Soviet Union and Cuba were established after the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Cuba became dependent on Soviet markets and military aid and was a major ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Why did people leave Cuba after the revolution? ›

After the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1959, a Cuban exodus began as the new government allied itself with the Soviet Union and began to introduce communism. From 1960 to 1979, tens of thousands of Cubans left Cuba.

Who was the president of Cuba before Castro? ›

Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar (born Rubén Zaldívar; January 16, 1901 – August 6, 1973) was a Cuban military officer and politician who served as the elected president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and as a military dictator from 1952 until his overthrow in the Cuban Revolution in 1958.

Did Celia Cruz meet Fidel Castro? ›

Remember, Celia was Cuba's most famous artist; it would have been very important for the government to have her on their side. Celia actually met Castro on two occasions.

What ethnicity is Castro? ›

Castro is a Castilian surname popular in Spanish and Portuguese countries, coming from Latin castrum, meaning a castle or fortress. Its English equivalent is Chester.

Was Che Guevara a good leader? ›

It was difficult to recall that this man had once been one of the great figures of Latin America. It was not just that he was a great guerrilla leader; he had been a friend of Presidents as well as revolutionaries. His voice had been heard and appreciated in inter-American councils as well as in the jungle.

What happened to Fidel Castro in 1953? ›

Imprisonment and the 26th of July Movement: 1953–55

Imprisoned with 25 fellow conspirators, Castro renamed "The Movement" the "26th of July Movement" (MR-26-7) in memory of the Moncada attack's date.

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