Famous as: Fidel Castro's Second Wife
Spouse/Ex-: Fidel Castro (m. 1980–2016)
father: Fernando Soto del Valle Guinart
children: Alejandro Castro-Soto, Alex Castro-Soto, Alexis Castro-Soto, Angel Castro-Soto, Antonio Castro-Soto
Dalia Soto del Valle was the second wife of Cuban revolutionary and politician Fidel Castro. Castro served as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then served as its President from 1976 to 2008. Dalia’s relationship with Fidel Castro remained under wraps for most part of her life due to security reasons. In fact, her first public appearance along with the famous Cuban leader came 30 years after their wedding. Famously known as the first lady of Cuba who never was, Dalia Soto del Valle was a teacher by profession. From her relationship of more than 40 years with Fidel Castro, Dalia gave birth to five sons, but her identity remained mostly obscured until her husband’s death in November 2016.
Childhood & Early Life
Dalia Soto del Valle was born in Trinidad, a province of Sancti Spíritus in central Cuba. She was born into a wealthy family, as her father Fernando Soto was a landowner from Cienfuegos, the capital of Cienfuegos Province located in the southern coast of Cuba. Her family owned a house in Trinidad and a large farm nearby. After completing her education, Dalia chose to become a teacher as she was interested in teaching from her teenage years. It was her profession that made her cross paths with Fidel Castro. Dalia was just 17 years old when she met Fidel Castro at a literacy campaign. During the early 1960s, Fidel Castro’s government stressed upon the importance of education. The government vowed that Cuba would not have even a single illiterate going forward. His government’s vow had Castro visiting several literacy campaigns and one such campaign was held in Cienfuegos, which Dalia was a part of. After his speech, the 36-year-old Castro noticed Dalia drooling over him. It did not take long before Dalia found herself at one of the dinner parties that had Fidel Castro sitting next to her.
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Relationship with Fidel Castro
Dalia’s relationship with Castro was one of the best kept secrets in Fidel Castro’s life. Within a month from meeting the revolutionary Cuban leader, Dalia was pregnant with her first child. But that did not encourage Castro to marry her or introduce her to the outside world. Instead, he asked her to move to Havana and started visiting her secretly during the night. Dalia started living in a Spanish mansion, where she gave birth to her first son, Alex Castro-Soto. Over the next few years, Dalia would give birth to four more sons from her relationship with Fidel Castro. In 1980, Castro decided to marry Dalia in the presence of her five children. However, Dalia continued living a secret life, as she was not allowed to make public appearances until the year 2000. She made her first public appearance in 2000, when she became part of a rally that called for the return of a Cuban boy named Elian Gonzalez, rescued from South Florida. In 2001, she was once again spotted at a nightclub during Cuba’s annual cigar festival. It took her 30 years to make a public appearance along with her husband. In the summer of 2010, Dalia and Fidel Castro were seen together for the first time, when Castro started making a series of public appearances after a gap of four years owing to his health.
Personal Life & Family
From her relationship with Fidel Castro, Dalia Soto del Valle gave birth to five sons, namely Alex, Antonio, Alejandro, Alexis, and Angel. All of them were named after Alexander the Great as Fidel Castro was an admirer of the great Greek king. Among her children, Antonio went on to become a popular orthopedic surgeon. He served as an official doctor for Cuba’s national baseball team and later became the vice president of ‘Cuban Baseball Federation.’ He also served as the vice president of a Swiss-based ‘International Baseball Federation.’ Many of Dalia’s nephews and nieces are settled in the United States of America for many years.