Fidel Castro Likes To HAM It Up
Fidel Castro has a penchant for imported cured Spanish hams and a paranoia about assassination that leads him to have his underwear incinerated, one of his former bodyguards has said. Delfín Fernandez, 44, fled Cuba in 1999 after becoming disillusioned with Castro's communist regime. He first lived in Spain and moved to Florida last year. There, as a regular television guest, he has caught the imagination of the Cuban community with his disclosures of Castro's habits and idiosyncracies and the workings of his inner circle.
Fidel & Raul Castro Mr Fernandez said the chief bodyguard, Bienvenido "Chicho" Perez, had told him that Castro had his underwear burned to foil any assassination plots with chemicals during laundering. He said also that he personally had been sent to Spain to bring back $2,500 worth of pata negra Serrano ham for the Cuban leader. He claimed that Castro and his brother, Raul, assembled incriminating dossiers on foreign businessmen who wanted to invest in Cuba. Delfín FernándezMr Fernandez said that Raul, the head of the island's army and thought to be Castro's heir, had stolen millions of dollars from government coffers. The former bodyguard, who worked in Spain for David Beckham, Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith, among others, said he had carried suitcases of cash out of Cuba for the Castro brothers. He said: "Raul likes the money. He has a transition plan; Fidel doesn't. I think Raul would want to lead an economic transformation and find a way to retire peacefully with his family with all the money he has stolen from the Cuban people over the years."