Ángel Castro y Argiz
|Ángel Castro y Argiz|
|Born||Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz
December 5, 1875
Láncara, Lugo Province, Spain
|Died||October 21, 1956
|Occupation||Spanish military, farmer|
He was the son of Manuel de Castro y Núñez (Lugo Province, Láncara, c. 1853 – Lugo Province, Láncara, June 12, 1903) and wife (m. Lugo Province, Láncara, August 16, 1873) Antonia Argiz y Fernández (Lugo Province, Láncara, 1857 – Lugo Province, Láncara, November 16, 1887).
Ángel Castro was born in Láncara, Galicia, in a small fieldstone house typical of the poor Galician peasants of that time. When he was sixteen or seventeen, he was recruited into the Spanish military, and came to Cuba during the second War of Independence. He was stationed in the tract of land between Júcaro and Morón. Juanita Castro, Ángel's daughter, has contradicted this claim to assert that their father was merely an economic migrant to Cuba.
Following the defeat of Spain, Ángel Castro returned to Spain in 1898, but returned to Cuba through the port of Havana in 1905. He ended up in the Oriente province, working as a labourer for the American United Fruit Company. At this time, American plantations were spreading throughout Cuba, and workers were being hired to cut down the hardwood forests and plant sugar cane. Castro organized a group of men and hired them out to United Fruit to perform this type of labour. According to his son Fidel, Castro once had 300 men working for him. Castro prospered and was eventually able to buy and lease a total of 11,000 hectares of land which yielded pine wood, livestock, and sugar cane in the northern part of what was then Oriente province.
Ángel Castro married María Argota y Reyes on March 25, 1911, by whom he had five children: Manuel Castro Argota (1913–1914), María Lila Perfidia ( Lidia ) Castro Argota (b. 1913), Pedro Emilio Castro Argota (b. 1914), Antonia María Dolores Castro Argota (b. 1915) and Georgina de la Caridad Castro Argota (b. 1918).
He also had seven more children, including Fidel, by his cook, Lina Ruz González, born in Catalina, Guane, Pinar del Rio Province, Cuba on September 23, 1903, and daughter of Francisco Ruz Vázquez (1874-1961) and Dominga González Ramos, whom he later married on April 26, 1943: Ángela María Castro Ruz (b. Birán, April 2, 1923-February 28, 2012), Ramón Eusebio Castro Ruz (b. Birán, October 14, 1924), Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (b. Birán, August 13, 1926), Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz (b. June 3, 1931), Juana de la Caridad (Juanita) Castro Ruz (b. May 6, 1933), Enma de la Concepción Castro Ruz (b. January 2, 1935) and Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz (August 28, 1938). Angel Castro also had one other son, Martin Castro, born in 1930, the son of a farmhand named Generosa Mendoza.
Castro y Argiz died in the town of Birán, 42 days before his son Fidel landed in Los Cayuelos on December 2, 1956. He died of an intestinal hemorrhage at the age of 80. Fidel Castro is said to have received the news of his father's death in stoic silence.
Notes and references
- Ramonet, Ignacio, Fidel Castro: My Life. Penguin Books: 2007, p. 25
- Ramonet, ibid, p. 26
- Ann Louis Bardach: Cuba confidential p.59
- Ramonet, ibid, p. 27
- Ramonet, ibid, p. 28
- Ramonet, ibid, p. 29
- It is said that this prosperity was due in part to harsh treatment of his mostly Haitian workers, and various illegal exploits. Although perhaps slightly inaccurate in detail, there is a vivid description of late 1920s life, especially in reference to the plight of Haitian contract labor, at Antilla and Banes in Bancroft (1983-pp.36-44).
- "fidel castro historia biografia cuba" (in Spanish). bravepages.com. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- GeneAll.net - Ángel María Bautista Castro Argiz
- RAISA PAGÉS (2003-12-29). "From Tuxpan to the Sierra Maestra". Granma International. Archived from the original on 2005-11-24. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- Castro, Juanita; as told to Maria Antonieta Collins (2009). Fidel y Raul - Mis Hermanos, La Historia Secreta. Santillana USA Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 978-1-60396-701-3.