Elder sister of Cuba’s Fidel and Raul Castro dies at 88

MIAMI (Reuters) - The older sister of Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro has died in Havana at the age of 88, a sibling who lives in Miami said.

Angela Castro, who was the oldest of seven Castro siblings, died on Tuesday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, her sister, Juanita Castro, told Cafe Fuerte, a Miami-based website closely watched by the Cuban exile community.

"She had been sick in a clinic for some time," said Castro. "She never left Cuba and I never saw her after I left the country. It's the tragedy that all divided Cuban families have suffered."

Angela Castro never held a high-profile position in the government led by her brothers and rarely made public comments. There was no official confirmation of her death by the Cuban government.

Her death comes as President Raul Castro faces the issue of Cuba's aging political leadership.

Fidel Castro, who is 85, led Cuba for 49 years before officially ceding power to his brother in 2008 due to age and illness. Raul Castro is 80.

A private funeral service is planned for Thursday in Biran, Cuba, where Angela Castro was born, Cafe Fuerte reported.

She is survived by five children and several grandchildren.

(Reporting By Kevin Gray; Editing by Philip Barbara)


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