Vacations on the Maya Riviera. A visit to the Basilica of the Sacred Family in Barcelona. A BMW. Expensive meals and a tour aboard a yacht. Those are some of the photos shared by Tony Castro, grandson of the late Fidel Castro, on his private Instagram account.
It may seem like just another young man sharing his good times with more than 1,000 followers, but some who got a peek at the privileged lifestyle questioned who’s paying for the expensive excursions. Tony, who is in his early 20s, is only known to work as a male model.
It’s not clear if Tony, son of Fidel’s son, Antonio Castro Soto del Valle — a well-known Cuban baseball official and orthopedic surgeon — was under contract with a fashion enterprise during his travels.
The photos, published months ago, have sparked controversy on social media after they were published by various South Florida media outlets. El Nuevo Herald obtained the images from one of Tony’s Instagram followers.
“All the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others,” Pedro Pérez wrote on his Facebook page, borrowing a page from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” book, a withering critique of totalitarian systems. The book is banned in Cuba.
Another post by José González stated: “Just like the son of Che (Guevara), whose company rents luxury motorcycles to tourists. Who pays for this?”
González urged others to share the images with social media users within the island.
In Cuba, where the official average salary is barely over $30 per month, bread is rationed and coffee has 50 percent lentils to make it last longer, taking vacations abroad is a luxury.
Castro family members rarely show up in public, except for Antonio Castro and now his son Tony.
In 2015, Antonio was photographed in the Greek resort island of Mykonos and aboard a luxury yacht in Bodrun, Turkey, where he also reportedly rented five suites in one of the most expensive hotels, according to media reports. His bodyguards attacked a Turkish reporter who tried to take a photo of the visit.
His son Tony apparently also likes to travel. His photos on Instagram show him in Mexico, Spain, Panama and of course Cuba. His girlfriend joined him on his foreign trips and he also posted photos of a dinner with his mother at the fancy El Cocinero restaurant in Havana.
The first widespread public displays of Fidel’s grandson came in 2016 as Chanel was getting ready to put on a fashion show along Havana’s famous Prado Boulevard. At the time, there was speculation that he might be among the models to walk the runway.
Tony had appeared earlier in a fashion shoot by photographer Brian Canelles, who was also invited to the Havana fashion show. But the young Castro was not among the models. With most Cubans kept at a distance, he watched the runway presentation from a front row seat reserved for VIPs, along with cousin Mariela Castro (daughter of Raúl Castro) and a constellation of Cuban government officials and artists.