Loved and hated both in equal turn, you have to admit Fidel Castro was one of the most influential world leaders of the past century.
A hardcore Communist, Castro is said to have lived on $25 a month, described vacations and holidays as “bourgeois,” and lived in a fisherman’s hut, while the only luxury he allowed himself were the Cuban cigars he so dearly loved, or so he claimed. In actuality, Castro lived a secret life of luxury, while the rest of his country suffered through decades of poverty under his rule.
According to a tell-all book, The Double Life of Fidel Castro, written by a former bodyguard to El Jefe, Castro was a hypocrite and a fraud. Instead of owning a little fisherman’s hut somewhere on the coast, Castro owned twenty properties throughout the Caribbean.
That’s not all El Lider Maximo kept hidden – in one of his properties, his main home called Punto Cero, Castro’s family was kept away from the private eye. This included a wife that no one knew about until recently, Dalia, and his five sons, who all have names that start with “A”: Alexis, Alex, Alejandro, Antonio, and Angelito. Not even Castro’s brother, Raul, knew about or met his nephews until they were already adults.
On top of this, it’s come to light that Castro has had at least three other children with mistresses, including longtime mistress, Juanita. We say “at least” here because Castro is said to have been a womanizer, who had many mistresses and affairs over the years with actresses, prostitutes, and dancers.
For example, Natalia Revuelta, a cardiologist’s wife, gave him a daughter whom he named Alina (there’s definitely a pattern occurring with the names). Alina later escaped Cuba to start a new life in America. She managed to escape the country secretly, wearing a wig and carrying a fake Spanish passport.
Notorious for his affairs, Castro earned himself the nickname “the Horse,” and, according to local rumors, kept his army boots on at all times, thanks to his days of being a revolutionary guerrilla.
According to the book, Castro would wake at around midday every day, and go spear-fishing in a sparkling new motor boat. He owned a private island, Cayo Piedra, where he would entertain famous guests and show off lagoons filled with turtles and dolphins. How did he get there? Castro apparently owned an 88 foot, luxury yacht.
Castro also owned a Havana estate with a rooftop bowling alley, a personal hospital, a seaside villa with a pool, and his own ice cream factory, which was located in Punto Cero, the compound at which his wife and sons lived. It was also conveniently the headquarters for his torture and surveillance.
While the rest of the country starved and ration food, Castro sourced his groceries from locals, or ate luxurious snacks provided to him by friends overseas. For all of his dairy needs, he had his own cow, and so did each of his children.
With Castro gone, a fact that has had Cubans in the States celebrating, it is possible that more will be revealed regarding how Castro lied to and tricked the Cuban nation, and the book is probably just the beginning.