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She was the eldest of the brood of seven siblings and her passing signals the beginning of the end for clan and its place in Cuban life.
According to The Associated Press, the eldest sister of Fidel Castro, Angela “Angelita” Castro, has died at a Havana clinic after a long battle with Alzheimers.
The news agency said Juanita Castro, another sibling who lives in exile in Miami, disclosed the death in the family to a reporter.
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The news agency said Angela, 88, was survived by five children and her grandchildren and had eschewed the spotlight while her brothers were the most powerful men on the island.
The death was the first to strike the brood of seven brothers and siblings, according to the news agency, which said the news was a sign of the age and mortality of Castro family. Fidel, who stepped down in 2006, is 86 and his brother Raúl, who took power, is 80, the AP said.
"She had been in a very delicate state for some time," Juanita was quoted as saying. Her sister was cremated and her ashes scattered at a farm, now a museum, in the eastern town of Biran, her birthplace, Juanita said.
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The AP said there was no immediate confirmation of the death in state-run Cuban media and that Cuban officials had not immediately responded to requests for comment.
Elsewhere in a Havana medical facility, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is reportedly resting after surgery to remove a cancerous lesion, according to the AP.