Alina Fernandez taken February 8, 2008
March 3, 1956 |
Fernández lived with her mother, Natalia "Naty" Revuelta Clews, who was born in Havana in 1925 and stepfather, Orlando Fernández. In Cuba, she worked as a model and public relations director of a Cuban fashion company, according to the University Program Board. In 1993, at age 37, she left Cuba for Spain using false papers and a wig. Elena Díaz-Verson Amos, a Cuban immigrant, and wife to John Amos (an Aflac, Inc. founder) helped Fernández leave Cuba. Fernández lived in Columbus, Georgia, with Díaz-Verson for several years.
Fernández next moved to Miami where she works in radio. In 1998 Fernández wrote Castro's Daughter: An Exile's Memoir of Cuba describing her life in Cuba and the changes that occurred over nearly four decades. She has a radio show called Simplemente Alina (Simply Alina) on WQBA in Miami. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the fare on her variety show is light, with guests such as painters and musicians. She devotes Wednesdays to Cuban politics.
Fernández has one daughter. In an interview in 2008 with Foreign Policy magazine, she said she had been closer to her Uncle Raúl Castro than she was to her father. She said Raúl Castro, who succeeded her father as the Cuban president, had helped her on several occasions. "He was the person to whom you could go to and ask for help every time you had a practical problem. I personally asked for his help a couple of times, and he always helped me immediately. In the family he was the only help you could find. On these kinds of issues, Fidel was totally unhelpful."
Asked if she dreamed of returning to Cuba, Fernández replied, "I don't know. During these long years, I've become a tree that is getting older and older but has no roots."
Fernández's aunt, Juanita Castro, sued Alina Fernández for libel and defamation over passages in her autobiography about Juanita and Fidel's parents, Ángel Castro and Lina Ruz. In 2005, a Spanish court ordered Fernández and Plaza & Janes, the Barcelona Random House publisher, to pay USD$45,000 to Juanita Castro, who said the book defamed her family: "People who were eating off Fidel's plate yesterday come here and want money and power, so they say whatever they want, even if it's not true ... Part of my family was responsible for a lot of suffering in Cuba — you can't change that," she said. "But nobody has the right to offend Fidel's family. Insult Fidel — there's plenty to say." An English version, published under the title Castro's Daughter: An Exile's Memoir of Cuba, omits the offending passages.
- "Castro's Family: Fidel's private life with his wife and sons is so secret that even the CIA is left to wonder" by Juan O. Tamayo. The Miami Herald October 8, 2000
- http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4222 "Seven Questions: Castro's Daughter Speaks Out" Foreign Policy March 5, 2008
Book and autobiography
- Havana Dreams, a Story of Cuba by Wendy Gimbel (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998) ISBN 0-679-43053-9
- Castro's Daughter, An Exile's Memoir of Cuba by Alina Fernandez (St. Martin's Press, 1997) ISBN 031219308