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.

Fidel was the son of Lina Ruz González and Ángel María Bautista Castro y Argiz. 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, of varyingly 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 have such ancestry. 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 of 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) –

17 Responses

  1. Manila says:

    I suggest to create the profile of his brother Raúl Castro as well.

  2. Manila says:

    Fidel is full-blooded Spanish, with Asturian, Canary Islander, and Galician blood.

  3. ethnic says:

    Hey Andrew,

    not sure. the comments seem to be working for me on this page. i cant see you comment anywhere.

    • follers says:

      Have any specific Jewish ancestors been documented for Fidel Castro by name?

      In any case, I added a bit about it.

      • passingtime85 says:

        I really have not found anything concrete. But I’ll share what I found, because why not?

        Castro’s daughter Alina Fernández has written that Castro’s mother Lina Ruz Castro was descended from Turkish Jews. That coupled with Castro’s own statements, culled from ‘The Boys from Dolores: Fidel Castro and His Generation – From Revolution to Exile’ by Patrick Symmes – Fidel had explained at the time that he could not be ‘with’ the fascists because they were against the Jews, and he could not be against the Jews for the simple reason that he was one. He volunteered that he was descended, through his grandmother, from Jews. Fidel was Catholic, not Jewish, and Cuban, not European, but he told anyone who would listen that the Jews were his own people.’ all seem to suggest Castro may be Jewish.

        Then there’s this excerpt, that I took with a grain of salt, from Cuba Confidential: Love and Vengeance in Miami and Havana by Ann Louise Bardach –

        However, it is not unlikely that the ancestors of Castro’s father were Jewish. Angel Castro hailed from the northern town of Lugo in Galicia, an area in Spain where Jews traditionally lived and the Castro apellido is regarded as a Jewish name in Sephardic circles. Armando Castro, who says he is a distant cousin of Fidel’s asserts that “all the Castros in Oriente were Jews.” And in an interview with exile Bernardo Benes, in the mid 1980’s, Castro confided that the rumors were true. “He said to me, ‘As you know, I have Jewish ancestors,’ remembered Benes, who is a Cuban Jew. “I think it was on his father’s side. And he said he wanted Cuba to be a second Israel.”

        The profile as it is, is probably as accurate as it can get without having someone doing some legitimate research with sources and what not, but posting this in the comments section can’t hurt anything.

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