14ymedio, Havana, 23 February 2016 — On the morning of Tuesday, 23 February, Ramon Castro, brother of Fidel Castro and Cuban President Raul Castro, died in Havana at age 91, according to the official newspaper Granma.
Born in Biran, now in the province of Holguin, on 14 October 1924, he was the second child of Angel Argiz Castro and Lina Ruz Gonzalez. In his family he was called by the nickname Mongo Castro.
He studied agricultural engineering at the University of Havana and was imprisoned during the Batista regime in 1953, after his brothers’ assault on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba and the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks in Bayamo.
The official note said that he “cooperated with the 26th July Movement and organized one of the networks supplying the Frank Pais Second Eastern Front.”
After the first of January 1959, he served as advisor to the Ministries of Agriculture and Sugar as well as three other ministries, where he is remembered “with neither pain nor glory,” according to former colleagues consulted by this newspaper.
Ramon Castro is credited with a part of the responsibility for the disastrous livestock policy and the dairy development plan during which cows were imported from Canada, animals that were not acclimated to conditions in Cuba. He was also the director of the failed Special Genetic Plan of the Valles de Picadura.
The official note states that he had received “several awards and held the title of Hero of Labor of the Republic of Cuba”.
For several years, the eldest of the brothers has been out of public life and the rumor about his ill health had spread on the island. The statement about his death, also read on the main television news, did not specify the cause.
To the Cuban people he is particularly remembered for his great physical resemblance to his brother Fidel Castro.
His remains were cremated and will be transferred to Biran, his birthplace and the place where the remains of his parents repose, state media reported.
In addition to Ramón, children from the marriage of Angel Castro Argiz and Lina Ruz Gonzalez were Angela Maria, born in 1923 and died in 2012, Fidel Alejandro (1926); Raúl Modesto (1931), Juana de la Caridad (1933); Emma de la Concepción (1935) and Agustina del Carmen (1938).