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Fidel Castro's son commits suicide, Cuban media says

  • Fidel Castro's son, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, committed suicide on Thursday, according to Cuban state-run media.
  • Castro Junior, 68, had initially been hospitalized for depression and then continued treatment outside of the hospital.

The eldest son of late Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, committed suicide on Thursday aged 68 after being treated for months for depression, Cuban state-run media reported.

Castro Diaz-Balart, also known as "Fidelito" because of how much he looked like his father, had initially been hospitalized for depression and then continued treatment as an outpatient. "Castro Diaz-Balart, who had been attended by a group of doctors for several months due to a state of profound depression, committed suicide this morning," Cubadebate website said.

Fidelito was born in 1949 out of his father's brief marriage to Mirta Diaz-Balart before he went on to topple a U.S.-backed dictator and build a communist-run state on the doorstep of the United States during the Cold War.

Castro died just over a year ago, on Nov. 26, 2016, aged 90.

A nuclear physicist who studied in the former Soviet Union, Castro Diaz-Balart had been working as a scientific counselor to the Cuban Council of State and Vice-president of the Cuban Academy of Sciences at the time of his death.

Previously, from 1980 to 1992, he was head of Cuba's national nuclear programme, and spearheaded the development of a nuclear plant on the Caribbean's largest island.

Cuba halted those plans in 1992 because of a lack of funding after the collapse of Cuba's trade and aid ties with the ex-Soviet bloc and Castro Diaz-Balart largely disappeared from public view.