Fidel Castro's eldest son takes his own life

Fidel Castro’s eldest son, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart committed suicide after being treated for depression for months

Fidel Castro's first-born son, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, committed suicide. (Photo: Reuters)
Fidel Castro's first-born son, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, committed suicide. (Photo: Reuters)

Fidel Castro’s eldest son, Fidel Ángel Castro Díaz-Balart, 68, committed suicide on Thursday , according to Cuban state media.

The first-born son of the late president was nicknamed "Fidelito", or Little Fidel, because of the family resemblance. He was a nuclear physicist, trained by the former Soviet Union.

He was found on Thursday morning after being treated for depression for months. He had initially been hospitalized but then continued treatment as an outpatient.

"Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, who had been treated by a group of doctors for several months due to deep depression, took his life this morning," Cuba's official newspaper Granma reported.

Fidelito, who had the highest public profile of all Castro’s children, was born in 1949 out of his brief marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart before he went on to topple a U.S.-backed dictator and build a communist-run state on the doorstep of the United States during the Cold War.

At the time of his death, he was a scientific adviser for the Cuban Council of State and he served as vice president of Cuba's Academy of Sciences.

He headed the island's nuclear programme from 1980 to 1992, before it was suspended after the Soviet Union's collapse.

A multilingual nuclear physicist who studied in the former Soviet Union, Castro Diaz-Balart was head of Cuba’s national nuclear program from 1980 to 1992, and spearheaded the development of a nuclear plant on the Caribbean’s largest island until his father fired him.

The television announcement said his funeral would be planned by his family, but no further details were given.

His father, Fidel Castro, a revolutionary figure and one of the world's longest serving political leaders, died at 90 in 2016.

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