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Castro's daughter speaks on fathers 80th

Aug. 14, 2006 at 1:26 AM

PALM BEACH, Fla., Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Fidel Castro's daughter was not celebrating her father's 80th birthday Sunday, but planned to attend anti-Castro celebrations in Miami.

The Palm Beach Post talked with Alina Fernandez who, in addition to being the dictator's daughter, is also a medical researcher, radio and TV commentator and former model.

For the 50-year old Fernandez, recent days have been tough as she deals with the interest in her ailing father's handing over of the Cuban government to his brother, Raul Castro. Fernandez told the Post her cell phone rings off the hook, with calls mostly from reporters looking for a sound bite.

Although she tries to maintain a low-key profile, Fernandez is much more publicly known than her siblings, who live in relative obscurity.

Fernandez said she thinks of her father as a tyrant and denounces his government, but unlike many exiles, she has no desire to celebrate his illness and fall from power.

Fernandez was born in Havana in 1957 to Castro and his mistress, Naty Revuelta. Growing up, Fernandez befriended bohemians and civil rights activists, gaining a distaste for her father's government.

In December 1993, Fernandez left Cuba disguised as a tourist. She used a doctored passport and never went back.

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