Fidel Castro's daughter to speak at Penn State Harrisburg Oct. 6

September 28, 2009

The daughter of Cuban President Fidel Castro, Alina Fernandez, brings her personal story of growing up in Cuba to Penn State Harrisburg Tuesday, Oct. 6.

The presentation is free and open to the public, and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Student Center of the Capital Union Building on campus. For information, call 717-948-6701.

Although Castro visited her home frequently when she was a child, Fernandez did not learn until she was 10 that he was her father. She grew up “hidden in the shadows of the Cuban Revolution" and a member of Cuba’s elite, she said. As she grew older, she recognized her position in Cuba’s society, but the political practices she witnessed under her father’s regime ultimately drove her to renounce that position, and eventually, her relationship with her father as well.

In Cuba, Fernandez became a model and public relations director for a Cuban fashion company, but in adulthood realized that Castro’s governmental policies were in conflict with her own. In the 1980s, she joined the political dissident movement on the island nation, began to openly criticize her illegitimate father, and was forbidden to leave Cuba.

In 1993, she fled to Spain using false papers and disguised as a Spanish tourist before settling in Miami where she now hosts a radio program on Cuban and Cuban-American issues. She has not spoken to her father in more than a decade.

She grew up in a convulsive Cuba, living with the ongoing threat of invasion by U.S. troops. She is a witness to how the country changed after the revolution, the potential for reform and a better life in Cuba.

In 1998, Fernandez wrote "Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba." It describes in intimate detail her life growing up in Cuba as the dictator’s daughter and the changes that occurred in the country. For example, at the age of 3, she remembers Mickey Mouse being replaced on television with executions ordered by Castro.

Fernandez’ life will soon be coming to the motion picture screen. Moresco Productions, headed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Bobby Moresco, has teamed up with Artists Relations Group to produce her life story. Titled "Castro’s Daughter," the film is expected to soon begin production.


  • Alina Fernandezm, daughter of Cuban president Fidel Castro

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated January 09, 2015