Juanita Castro died at the age of 90.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro's sister Juanita Castro has died at the age of 90, as per a report in Newsweek. She was regarded as one of his strongest critics and moved to Florida in 1964 after she accused Fidel Castro of turning the country into "an enormous prison surrounded by water." Juanita became an agent of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and worked under the codename "Donna".
The former CIA agent's death was announced by journalist Maria Antonieta Collins, co-author of Juanita Castro's memoir. She said in the caption, "This is the news I never wanted to give, but that, as his spokesman for the last three decades of his life, I have to communicate."
"Today, at 90 years of age, Juanita Castro went ahead of us on the path of life and death, an exceptional woman, a tireless fighter for the cause of her Cuba. There will be no interviews and the funeral will be private. We ask for your prayers for the eternal rest of her soul," she said. Her cause of death has not been made public.
Fidel Castro was one of the most influential people of the 20th century and had a significant influence on American politics following his establishment of a communist state right near the United States. His support for Moscow sparked the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, a 13-day standoff between the US and the Soviet Union that put the world on the verge of nuclear war for the first time ever. He continued to control the nation for many years, but in 2006, his failing health forced him to hand over the reins to his brother Raul Castro. In defiance of Fidel Castro, Juanita Castro parted with her influential family and became a vocal opponent of his administration.
The Cuban leader died in 2016 at the age of 90 and his sister expressed sadness upon hearing the news. However, she stated that she would never go back to her own country.
Her connections to the nation's leaders made her existence as a Cuban exile in Florida especially difficult, she wrote in her memoir, 'My Brothers Fidel and Raul, the Secret History'. "Undoubtedly, I have suffered more than the rest of the exiles, because nowhere along the Straits of Florida do they give me respite and few are those who understand the paradox of my life," she said. "For those in Cuba, I am a deserter because I left and denounced the regime in place. For many in Miami, I am 'persona non grata' because I am the sister of Fidel and Raul," the memoir read.