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Fidel Castro’s oldest son commits suicide after battle with depression

Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, right, meets with Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, a scientific advisor to the State Council of Cuba, in Beijing on October 26, 2015. (Liu Weibing/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Fidel Castro’s oldest son — Fidel “Fidelito” Castro Diaz-Balart — committed suicide Thursday, according to Cuba’s state media.

Castro, 68, known as “Fidelito,” had been seeking medical attention for the past few months after falling into a “deep depression,” reported the Cuban state government.

He shot himself in the head, according to reports from Cuba.

“His delicate health situation required hospitalization and then continued with outpatient follow-ups as he reintegrated himself back into society,” a reporter said on Cuban television.

Fidelito was born to Fidel Castro’s first wife, Mirta Diaz-Balart. He was cousin to Florida Republicans Lincoln and Mario Diaz-Balart — South Florida politicians known for their vehement opposition to Castro.

The oldest son worked in his father’s government, heading Cuba’s nuclear power program until his father publicly fired him. The elder Castro did not mince words when he announced the termination.

“He was fired for incompetence,” the father said.

Raul Castro — who took over as president of Cuba when his brother died in 2016 — was said to have a good relationship with his nephew, who lived in the same Havana apartment building as his uncle for years.

Prior to his death, Fidelito served as a scientific adviser to the Cuban government and was the vice president of the country’s Academy of Sciences.

Funeral arrangements will be made by the family, according to Cuba state media.

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© 2018 Miami Herald

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.