About the Presenter
In her illuminating talk, Alina Fernandez, the daughter of Fidel Castro, shares her first-person, intimate account of growing up in Cuba. Through her insight as part of the Cuban elite, Fernandez describes her life in Cuba and its political environment during the 1960s and ’70s. Weaving in her unique sense of style and humor, she reveals exciting and suspenseful anecdotes, snapshots of Cuban society, her inside perspective on Cuban politics, and a detailed view of her father.
As one of Fidel Castro’s children, Fernandez had a strangely mixed upbringing with a combination of privilege and privation. This is her private story, told from her intensely personal point of view. Clearly she speaks for herself and the people of Cuba with whom she knew over the last forty years, rather than as an expert on Fidel Castro, as the political ruler of Cuba.
Fernandez was just a toddler when Fidel Castro overthrew the Batista government during the 1959 Cuban Revolution. She saw Castro on the television screen and then in her living room, as he would frequently visit her at night. Fernandez played tirelessly with him until dawn. Then he would disappear for months at a time.
As Fernandez grew up and opened her eyes to the political climate in Cuba, she became rebellious, and in the ’80s became part of the political dissident movement on the island. By 1993 she was forced to flee Cuba, which she accomplished by mastering the art of disguise.
Fernandez resides in the United States today. In 1998 St. Martin’s Press published her story, Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba. Fernandez grew up in a convulsive Cuba, living with the ongoing threat of invasion by American troops. She is a witness with a unique vision, not only of her father and how the country changed after the Revolution, but of Cuba’s future, and the potential for reform and a better life in Cuba.
Sponsored by Multicultural Initiatives, University Life, Campus Ministry, and the Holleran Center.
This event is part of the 2011 Greater Reading Literary Festival at AlverniaStart Date: 10/3/2011 7:00 pm
End Date: 10/3/2011 9:00 pm
Location: Francis Hall Theater and Recital Hall
Sponsor: Multicultural Initiatives, University Life, Campus Ministry, and the Holleran Center.
- History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
- Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
- Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
- Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
- Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
- Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
- Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
- Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.