HAVANA – The eldest son of late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, committed suicide on Thursday (Feb 1) aged 68 after being treated for months for depression, Cuban state-run media reported.
Castro Diaz-Balart, also known as “Fidelito” because of how much he looked like his father, had initially been hospitalized for depression and then continued treatment as an outpatient.
“Castro Diaz-Balart, who had been attended by a group of doctors for several months due to a state of profound depression, committed suicide this morning,” Cubadebate website said.
Through his mother, he was the cousin of some of Castro’s most bitter enemies in the Cuban American exile community, U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart and former U.S. congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
A nuclear physicist who studied in the former Soviet Union, Castro Diaz-Balart had been working as a scientific counselor to the Cuban Council of State and Vice-president of the Cuban Academy of Sciences at the time of his death.
Previously, from 1980 to 1992, he was head of Cuba’s national nuclear program, and spearheaded the development of a nuclear plant on the Caribbean’s largest island until his father fired him.
His death came just over a year after that of his father on Nov. 26, 2016, aged 90.