LANCARA, Spain – The residents of the town in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia where Fidel Castro’s father was born mourned the late Cuban leader Saturday in an improvised memorial service.
People gathered outside the house in the town of Lancara where Angel Castro, the father of the Cuban revolutionary leader, was born and then visited Fidel’s cousin, Victoria, to express their condolences.
Victoria Lopez Castro, who lives in a nursing home, has always spoken of the Cuban branch of her family with affection, compiling a collection of photographs and press clippings of her famous cousin, Fidel, who died on Friday night at the age of 90.
Victoria, according to friends, said that Fidel assisted his relatives in Galicia, sending money at times, and stayed in touch with his family on the other side of the Atlantic.
Lopez Castro visited Cuba twice, spending a year on the island in 1982 and returning for another visit in 2006.
Fidel Castro visited Lancara in 1992 at the invitation of the late Galician regional government president and Popular Party founder, Manuel Fraga, saying that he considered himself a “grandson of poor emigrants” and a “true son of Galicia.”
Castro and Fraga, who died in 2012, played a game of dominoes at a festival organized in the Cuban leader’s honor, with the Spanish politician winning the game.
The Cuban leader and Fraga visited the Castro family home in Armea de Arriba. Fraga later traveled to Cuba to see the house where his father lived after emigrating to the island.
Fidel Castro later said that he had spent one of the happiest days of his life in Galicia.
Angel Castro Argiz, the father of Fidel and Raul Castro, was from Galicia and emigrated to Cuba as a young man, like thousands of other Galicians.
In November 1915, Angel Castro bought a 268-hectare (660-acre) ranch called Manacas in Biran, the eastern Cuban town where Fidel and Raul were born.