Portrait Alina Fernandez Castro
Are you in contact with Cuba? Have you noticed an evolution?
“Of course, I’m in contact but evolution, no. I don’t know anyone in the world who would say: ‘I’m happy to make sacrifices, to starve, to not buy clothes, to not party, and to have water and electricity from time to time!' At the beginning of the revolution, there was ideological fanaticism and believing in God was forbidden. Religion was considered a deviation from ideology. You couldn’t even celebrate Christmas, because the communist state was atheist, and to become a member of the communist party, you couldn’t be religious. Now, you’re allowed to believe in God. You know, in Cuba, it’s really easy to fool people. For example, Cuba forbids travel, but other countries are also reluctant to give Cubans visas because they may not leave, so no one really wants to welcome them. To travel outside Cuba, you need a tourist visa, and a letter of invitation from a country.”
Alina explains that her father had extremely high expectations: she had to be the best speaker, the best in sports, the best student. She was not. Considered “oppositional,” she was never allowed to leave Cuba.
“I tried several times but it wasn’t possible. The more I visited him, the more I was spied on. Everyone around Fidel Castro is under strict surveillance, especially his daughter!"
Do you think you’ll ever speak to your father again?
No, absolutely not. We’d had no relationship for years. I was a dissident. He considered me a traitor and treated me like an enemy. This situation was created by my parents, not by me. Fighting against a legend like my father is useless. I do it because it’s my responsibility not because I think it’s useful."