The eldest son of late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, has died in Havana aged 68 after being treated for months for depression, Cuban state-run media reported.
A nuclear scientist, also known as “Fidelito”, or Little Fidel, because of how much he looked like his father, he’d initially been hospitalized and then continued treatment as an outpatient before he was found dead Thursday.
“Castro Diaz-Balart, who had been attended by a group of doctors for several months due to a state of profound depression, committed suicide this morning,” Cubadebate website said.
Fidelito, who had the highest public profile of all Castro’s children, was born in 1949 out of his brief marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart before he went on to topple a U.S.-backed dictator and build a communist-run state 150km from the United States during the Cold War.
His maternal family went on to become prominent figures in the anti-Castro community in Florida. His cousin Mario Díaz-Balart is a US congressman.
A multilingual nuclear physicist who studied in the former Soviet Union, Castro Diaz-Balart was head of Cuba’s national nuclear program from 1980 to 1992, and spearheaded the development of a nuclear plant on the Caribbean’s largest island until his father fired him.
At the time of his death, he was a scientific adviser for the Cuban Council of State and he served as vice president of Cuba’s Academy of Sciences.
Fidelito’s death came just over a year after that of his father on Nov. 25, 2016, aged 90.
The television announcement said his funeral would be planned by his family, but no further details were given.