Corridors of Power: Fidel’s Progeny, Trade Talk, Russia’s ‘Exclave’ and More

Corridors of Power: Fidel’s Progeny, Trade Talk, Russia’s ‘Exclave’ and More

FIDEL'S FAMILY MATTERS -- If Fidel Castro had wanted to establish a dynasty he has the sons to do it, although none -- as far as is known -- holds government or party office. The least visible is oldest son Fidelito, a Moscow-trained physicist now around 58, and totally out of the limelight. Cuban exile circles in Miami say two other siblings, Alexander and Alexis, are both cameramen. Then there's Alejandro (El Comandante apparently has a thing about Alexander the Great) the computer programmer, Antonio the orthopedic surgeon, and the youngest, Angel, occupation unknown.

Fidelito's mother is Marta Diaz-Balart, whom Castro married in 1949 and subsequently divorced. She lives in Madrid, but there were reports that she had visited the Cuban leader during his recent illness. Word is that Dalia Soto del Valle, the longest-lasting of Castro's mistresses, bore him the other five sons. Like many Cuban families, the Castros have their exiles in Miami: Castro's daughter Alina, 50-ish (her mother is Naty Revuelta), who broke with her father, defected and started a dissident radio chat show Simplemente Alina (Simply Alina); and Castro's sister Juana, a resident of Coral Gables.

TRADE TALK -- Is the impact on China of its current export boom overrated? Yes, said Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, in a lecture earlier this month at Cambridge University. Mandelson cited the example of iPods manufactured in China. China is hardly the main beneficiary, receiving just $4 of the iPod's selling price of $299 in the United States. Of the remainder, $160 goes to the U.S. companies that design, transport and retail the iPod, Mandelson said.

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