Castro's influence waning fast | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 25, 2008

Castro's influence waning fast

Says daughter

Fidel Castro's daughter said Sunday she believed her father may be deathly ill and was exerting progressively less power, as Cuba's one-party legislature readied to pick his successor.
Alina Fernandez, Fidel Castro's daughter who is exiled in Miami, nixed the notion his role as party leader would keep him pulling political strings.
"I think that he's still doing that, but less and less, definitely," Fernandez told CNN television.
When asked if her father, whose communist successor Cuba's National Assembly was set to select in Havana, was deathly ill, Fernandez said: "My assumption is that he is ... (and that) he does not want to be seen in public."
Fernandez also noted that in south Florida, few if anyone ever expected Fidel Castro would leave power without dying.
"It is quite a surprise, because nobody thought this was the way he would step out of power," she said.
Fernandez is Castro's daughter from a relationship with a married socialite, Naty Revuelta. As father and daughter they had contact but were not close when she was a child, and are not in touch now.
A former fashion model and mother, Fernandez -- in a move worthy of the silver screen -- fled Cuba years ago after packing on pounds so that no one would recognize her, donning a wig and using a Spanish passport to fly to Madrid.

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