The eldest son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has taken his own life after months of being treated for "profound depression," according to state-run media in Cuba. Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, nicknamed "Fidelito," was 68. Castro-Diaz Balart, who was born during Castro's brief, pre-Cuban Revolution marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart, headed Cuba's national nuclear program from 1980 to 1992 and was serving as a scientific adviser for the Cuban Council of State at the time of his death, Reuters reports. Castro Diaz-Balart was born in 1949. His mother took him to live in the US after she divorced Castro in 1953. She sent him to visit his father after he took power in 1959 and he never returned him, CNN reports.
Castro Diaz-Balart trained as a nuclear physicist in the Soviet Union and spoke Russian, Spanish, English, and French fluently. Paul Hare, a former British ambassador to Cuba, tells Reuters that Castro Diaz-Balart seemed "thoughtful, rather curious about the world beyond Cuba" when he met him at a dinner in Boston two years ago. "But he seemed a bit weary about having to be a Castro, rather than himself," Hare says. The BBC reports that he was related on his mother's side to prominent anti-Castro regime politicians in the US, including his cousin, Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. (Fidel Castro died 14 months ago at 90.)