Fidel Castro

Castro in 2003, photograph from website Agência Brasil. Author Ricardo Stuckert/ABr.

Birth Name: Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz

Date of Birth: 13 August, 1926

Place of Birth: Birán, Holguin Province, Cuba

Date of Death: 25 November, 2016

Place of Death: Havana, Cuba

Ethnicity: Cuban [Spanish, including Asturian, Canary Islander, and Galician]

Fidel Castro was a Cuban politician and revolutionary. After taking power in a New Year’s coup in 1958-1959, he controlled the country until 2008, as Prime Minister of Cuba, from 16 February, 1959 to 2 December, 1976, President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba, from 2 December, 1976 to 24 February, 2008, and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, from 3 October, 1965 to 19 April, 2011. He was also Secretary-General of the Non-Aligned Movement, from 10 September, 1979 to 6 March, 1983, and again from 16 September, 2006 to 24 February, 2008.

His brother, Raúl Castro (Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz), was President of the Council of State and Ministers of Cuba, from 2008 to 2018, and First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, from 2011 to 2021. His sister was dissident Juanita Castro.

Fidel was the son of Lina Ruz González and Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz. His father was a wealthy landowner and businessperson, and his mother was his father’s maid. His father was born in Láncara, Lugo Province, Spain. His mother was born in Catalina, Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

Fidel was married to Dalia Soto del Valle. He was previously married to Mirta Diaz-Balart. He had eleven children, including five with Dalia and one with Mirta.

Fidel’s patrilineal line traces to Domingo Castro, who was born, c. 1679, in Sarria, Lugo, Spain, and to his wife, Catalina Quiroga.

Fidel’s paternal grandfather was Manuel de Castro y Núñez (the son of Pedro Juan de Castro López Méndez and Juana Núñez Pereira). Manuel was Spanish, from Láncara, Lugo, Galicia. Pedro Juan was the son of Casimiro Felipe/Phelipe de Castro Fernández and Maria López Juana Méndez. Fidel’s great-grandmother Juana was the daughter of Ramón Núñez and Manuela Pereira/Pereyra.

Fidel’s paternal grandmother was Antonia Argiz y Fernández (the daughter of Pedro José Argiz Gallego and Dominga Fernández Álvarez). Antonia was Spanish, from Láncara, Lugo, Galicia. Pedro José was the son of Pedro Argiz de Riva and Manuela Gallego Ares. Dominga was the daughter of Antonio Fernández and Isabel Álvarez.

Fidel’s maternal grandfather was Francisco Ruz Vázquez (the son of Francisco Hipólito Ruz Acosta and Rafaela Vázquez Rivera). Fidel’s great-grandfather Francisco had roots in Cádiz, Andalucia, Spain. Rafaela was from Candelaria, in the Canary Islands, Spain.

Fidel’s maternal grandmother was Dominga González Ramos (the daughter of Domingo González and Isabel Ramos). Fidel’s great-grandfather Domingo was from Asturias, Spain.

There are various claims on the internet, many of dubious value, that Fidel had Sephardi Jewish ancestry (specifically, Marrano ancestry, descent from Jews who converted to Catholicism, some of whom retained some Jewish practices). It is possible that Fidel, or his relatives, personally stated that they descend from Marranos. It does not appear, however, that any documented Jewish ancestry has of yet been produced for Fidel Castro. In any case, much, if not all, of the population of Spain has Jewish ancestry to one degree or another.

Sources: Genealogies of Fidel Castro –

Genealogy of Fidel Castro (focusing on his father’s side) –

Family histories of Fidel Castro (in Spanish) –

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