Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart

The name certainly sounds odd, but it's real. Certainly, Miamians know well that the Diaz-Balart's (Reps. Mario and Lincoln) show nothing but disdain for Fidel Castro. (They have their reasons.) But, some may not know that there's a bloodline running through the rivalry.

Yesterday, the press was treated to a rare public meeting between son Fidel (aka Fidelito) Castro Diaz-Balart and his mother Mirta Diaz-Balart (Photo). Mirta was married to the famed Revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz in 1948, they had their first and only child, Fidelito, the following year. Mirta is aunt to Lincoln and Mario.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Mirta, 80, was visiting Havana, Cuba on Friday in time for a recent international conference on nanotechnology. Fidelito was participating as a speaker. The article also reports that Mirta was in Cuba in July 2006, around the time Fidel Castro underwent surgery (an event which later resulted into the eventual transfer of power to his brother Raul).

To see both, mother and son, together in public was a rare event. (Cuban leader Fidel Castro was eventually divorced and had several other children from a different marriage.)

The story on how Fidel Castro and Mirta Diaz-Balart met before the Revolution can be read in Ann Louise Bardach's book Cuba Confidential (very entertaining book), Chapter 2, which is fortunately available online. Here's a pic of the young couple.

[Photo by AP/Ismael Francisco]