Juanita Castro, the younger sister of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, has passed away at the age of 90 in a Miami hospital on Monday. This news was reported by journalist María Antonieta Collins, co-author of her memoirs.
Collins took to Instagram to share the news, describing Juanita Castro as “an exceptional woman” and “a tireless fighter for the cause of her Cuba that she loved so much.” Juanita was a critic of her brothers’ regime and always made her political differences with the Havana dictatorship known.
Juanita Castro left Cuba in 1964 after breaking up with her brothers, Fidel and Raúl, and went into exile in the United States. She became a US citizen in 1984 and developed a life as a businesswoman in South Florida while also being an activist against the Castro regime.
In an interview with the Hispanic network Univision, Juanita Castro revealed that she and Fidel had been “separated for political reasons for many years,” but maintained their family ties “with a lot of pain.”
Born on May 6, 1933, Juanita studied business in Havana and initially supported the Cuban Revolution against Fulgencio Batista. However, her disagreements with Fidel Castro soon began, leading her to join the opposition group Cuban Catholic Action and eventually go into exile.
After moving to the US, she opened a pharmacy which she maintained until 2006. In her later years, she lived away from the media spotlight in her home in Coral Gables, Florida.
Juanita is survived by her sister Emma, who reportedly resides in Mexico. The family has asked for privacy and prayers for her eternal repose. The cause of her death was not disclosed.
Juanita Castro’s passing marks the end of a chapter for the Castro family and adds to the complex history of Cuba and its relationship with the US. Her life was marked by political dissent and exile, leaving a lasting impact in both countries.