CASTROPOL, Spain – This town of 3,500 people on Spain’s northwestern coast has been put on the map thanks to new Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, whose great-grandfather was born in Castropol, from where he emigrated to Havana at the end of the 19th century.
The Castropol municipal government has already announced that it will extend an official invitation to the Cuban president to “come get to know the land of his relatives and ancestors.”
Francisco Diaz-Canel was part of a well-off ranching family, so his decision to emigrate to Cuba was linked to his entrepreneurial spirit, Castropol’s mayor Jose Angel Perez Garcia told EFE.
“Now Castropol has been put on the map,” the mayor said, adding that this could provide an opportunity to develop tourism and “attract people” to this region, which has been losing population.
Perez Garcia will also propose creating a sister cities agreement with Havana or another Cuban town and analyze the possibility of establishing a “tourist route” that would include places linked to the Diaz-Canel family.
The home of Miguel Diaz-Canel’s great-grandfather is still occupied by his family members, namely by Maria Juana Diaz – a second cousin of Cuba’s new leader – and her husband.
Francisco, the great-grandfather, emigrated to Cuba along with four brothers – Ramon, Jose Maria, Jesus and Abelardo – who moved back to Spain in the early 20th century, after making a fortune manufacturing furniture.
Castropol will now share with Lancara, a nearby town in the northwestern region of Galicia, the distinction of being the ancestral home of a Cuban president.
Lancara was the place of birth of Angel Castro, the father of Fidel and Raul Castro.
Fidel Castro, who passed away in 2016, visited Lancara in 1992 to fulfill his wish of “not dying” before he got to know the land of his father, who was a young farmer when he set out across the Atlantic to find a better life.
Fidel’s brother Raul also visited Lancara in 2005.
Castropol’s residents are now eager to see Diaz-Canel follow the Castros’ footsteps and visit the land of his ancestors.