MIAMI – Agustina del Carmen Castro Ruz, the younger sister of Fidel and Raul Castro, died on the weekend in Havana, according to what another sister – Juanita Castro, who has lived in Miami for 52 years – told EFE. She was 78.
Juanita Castro, 83, learned of Agustina’s death – which occurred on Sunday – from yet another sister, Emma, who lives in Mexico.
Although she expressed sadness over Agustina’s death, Juanita emphasized that she had decided not to travel to Cuba to attend the funeral.
“Unfortunately, (the political situation) hasn’t changed. I have neither the energy nor the ability to go there,” said Juanita, who has not returned to Cuba in 52 years and said she doesn’t think that she will ever travel there again.
Juanita did not discuss her sister’s cause of death, but she had made some earlier remarks to a Miami daily in which she said that Agustina, who was “very sick” and quite poor, died from complications resulting from a broken hip.
The injury “became infected and everything got worse,” said Juanita, the author of “Fidel y Raul, mis hermanos: La historia secreta” (Fidel and Raul, My Brothers: The Secret History) published in 2009, in which she harshly criticized her revolutionary brothers.
So far, there has been no official announcement of the death of Agustina, who lived in Havana with her daughter Lina Rodriguez Castro and never held public office or any government post.
Agustina married pianist Silvio Rodriguez Cardenas, who did not have a good relationship with his politically-minded in-laws and emigrated to the United States in the 1990s.
She had three children and her two sons live in Orlando, Florida, where the pianist died. Both sons traveled to Cuba for their mother’s funeral.
Of the seven children of Angel Castro Argiz and Lina Ruz – Angelita (born 1923), Ramon (1924), Fidel (1926), Raul (1931), Juanita (1933), Emma (1935) and Agustina (1938) – just three are still living.
Raul Castro is president of Cuba.