Juanita Castro, Fidel’s Sister, Dies In The US

(LibertySons.org) – Juanita Castro, the self-exiled sister and critic of Fidel and Raúl Castro, once expressed her frustration with her isolation from Cuban communities, saying those from her island home considered her a traitor for denouncing communism and her brothers’ regime, while Cubanos in Florida mistrusted her because of her genetic relationship to the leaders. On Monday, December 4, Castro died in Miami, Florida, at age 90 after advocating against the Cuban communist regime for nearly 60 years.

Born to Angel Castro, an immigrant from Spain who worked hard and became a plantation owner, and Lina Ruz, a family friend’s niece whom Angel Castro hired as a cook, Juanita, her three brothers, and her three sisters grew up in Birán, Cuba. Their father and mother didn’t marry until the youngest sibling was about 5 years old, primarily because Angel Castro remained married to Maria Argota, with whom he previously had five children.

Though she later broke ranks with her brothers when their regime took a decidedly communist turn, she didn’t always oppose their fight for revolution against Cuban military dictator Fulgencio Batista. She raised funds and bought weapons for her brothers’ 26th of July movement against the Cuban leader. However, the US underwrote Batista’s regime in trade for controlling interests in sugar plantations on the island, fueling Fidel Castro’s distrust and disdain for the US and capitalism.

Fidel Castro’s 1963 decision to include his family’s plantation in the agrarian reform system caused strife, especially with eldest brother Ramón, and Juanita tried to salvage resources by selling the estate’s cattle, causing her brother Fidel to call her a “counterrevolutionary worm” as he rushed to stop her. The CIA approached the young woman in 1961, asking her to provide information and documents, and she agreed. She may have helped as many as 200 people, including CIA operatives, leave Cuba after the revolution.

In 1964, after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, her mother’s death in 1963, and Fidel’s continued movement toward communism and isolationism, Juanita felt she had no choice but to emigrate. She went to Mexico, where her younger sister, Emma, lived with her husband. After holding a press conference denouncing Fidel and Raúl’s regime, she traveled to Miami, where she settled somewhat uneasily among the Cuban community.

Never married and without children, Juanita Castro leaves behind a fractured family, including brother Raúl, sister Emma, and niece Alina Castro — Fidel’s daughter, who also self-exiled in 1993 but who had a fractious relationship with her aunt.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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