Thursday, March 23, 2006 3:03 p.m. EST
Fidel Castro Burns His Underwear
A former assistant to Fidel Castro and his brother Raul is now in Miami
and he’s airing the Cuban leader’s dirty laundry – including why Fidel
burns his underwear.
Delfin Fernandez, 44, defected in Spain in 1999 on a trip to Europe to
drop off Raul's daughter in Italy and pick up a Rotweiller in Germany
for Fidel. He moved to Miami less than a year ago.
"I was assigned to take care of the people closest to Fidel, so that
they don't lack anything and don't feel threatened by anything inside or
outside of Cuba,” he told the Miami Herald.
Among Fernandez’ revelations to the Herald:
# Chief of bodyguards Bienvenido "Chicho” Perez told him Fidel has his
underwear burned to foil any assassination plots with chemicals during
# Fidel has a passion for Serrano hams and sent Fernandez to Spain to
bring $2,500 worth of the delicacy back to Cuba.
# To fool would-be assassins, Cuba's leader always travels around Havana
in a six- or seven-car motorcade led by three nearly identical black
Mercedes-Benz 560s. The Castro brothers have as many as 300 cars for
themselves, their families and their bodyguards.
# Fidel turns 80 this year and has become obsessed with his health. The
Castro brothers each have their own clinics and their own doctors in
Havana's Council of State Building, and Fidel has also built a
multimillion-dollar clinic on the grounds of his Havana estate.
"If Castro has a heart attack or he dies, the only people who will know
about it will be his family, the guards working at the time, and Raul,”
# When Foreign Minister Roberto Robaina tried to open Cuba to the world,
he was sacked by Castro and placed under house arrest for two years.
# Raul is more "practical and family oriented” than his older brother.
"Raul has a transition plan,” Fernandez said. "I think Raul would want
to lead an economic transformation, and ultimately find a way to retire
peacefully with his family with all the money he has stolen from the
Cuban people over the years.”
# Fernandez said he carried suitcases full of cash out of Cuba for the
He told the Herald: "The initial idea of Fidel was good. What happened
was, the course he took with the revolution was wrong. It has dissolved
into this unstoppable, insatiable corruption without limits, a vast lie.
The people are in misery. Cuba's people have been enslaved as cheap
labor for foreign businessmen.”