Fidel Castro’s Secret Luxury Lifestyle Revealed

By : Jennifer BrowneTwitterLogo

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Fidel Castro, Cuba’s communist dictator, former president and divisive world figure, had no time for luxury, despising holidays as ‘bourgeois’ and claiming to live in a fisherman’s hut – or so he insisted.

But Castro wasn’t as modest as he let on to his fellow Cubans, who endured decades of poverty, crumbling housing and food rationing during his long rule.

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He lived like a king. A womaniser and food connoisseur who allegedly kept some 20 luxurious properties throughout the Caribbean, Castro had his own private yacht, a luxury Caribbean island getaway complete with a turtle farm and dolphins, and travelled with two personal blood donors, according to a tell-all book.

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In La Vie Cachée de Fidel Castro (Fidel Castro’s Hidden Life), former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sánchez, a member of Castro’s elite inner circle, says the Cuban leader ran the country like a cross between a medieval overlord and Louis XV.

The man who spent his life protesting against the excesses of capitalism lived like a king – and a very debauched one at that.

Sánchez, who was part of Castro’s praetorian guard for 17 years, described Castro as a charismatic and intelligent, but manipulative and egocentric leader prone to temper tantrums.

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He claims the vast majority of Cubans were unaware their leader enjoyed a life full of luxury, and when Forbes listed Castro as one of the world’s richest ‘kings, queens and dictators’ in 2006, he insisted he survived on a salary of £20 a month, the Daily Mail reports.

The magazine estimated Castro’s personal net worth at $900 million. But after hundreds of assassination attempts, Castro’s personal life and residences were top secret – even Cuban citizens didn’t know where he lived.

As for his luxurious life, Sanchez claims Castro’s private island, Cayo Piedra, was a ‘garden of Eden’ where he entertained famous guests like writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Castro would sail there on an 88 ft luxury yacht fitted out with rare Angolan wood.

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On the mainland, his homes included an ‘immense’ Havana estate with a rooftop bowling alley, personal hospital and indoor basketball court, and a seaside villa with pool, jacuzzi and sauna.

As for his most notorious home, Unit 160, or Punto Cero, the fortress-like compound wasn’t just the HQ for his surveillance and torture regime, it also housed his own ice cream factory.

For a man who spent his life railing against luxuries and capitalism, he lived quite a lavish life.