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.