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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Estefan slams 'terrorist' Castro
Gloria Estefan
Havana-born Estefan came to the US following the 1959 revolution
Cuban-American pop star Gloria Estefan has said Cuba's people are "suffering" under the rule of Fidel Castro.

The Cuban-born singer, who was on a trip to Mexico, said the 38-year-old US embargo against the communist-led island was entirely Castro's responsibility.

Estefan said the real embargo was the one Castro, 74, imposes against Cubans: "Fidel has control over the money and over the people."

"There is everything one needs in Cuba, but the only people who cannot enjoy this are Cubans, because of the embargo maintained by Fidel, who is the only one responsible for their suffering," the 42-year-old told the Mexican news agency Notimex.

"Fidel runs an oppressive and terrorist government," she added.

Charity work

Gloria Estefan
Miami Mayor Joe Carollo with Gloria Estefan at an anti-Castro rally
The singer was in Mexico to promote her latest CD Alma Caribena (Caribbean Soul), which she recorded with salsa great Celia Cruz, another anti-Castro Cuban.

She will also be publicising the work of a charity, Mexico's United Foundation programme, which helps children with disabilities.

Estefan, who was accompanied by her husband, music producer Emilio Estefan, will be touring hospitals and recording TV ads to promote the charity's money-raising telethon.


Estefan's father worked for Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, who was overthrown by Castro, and fled with his family to the US after the 1959 revolution.

In April Estefan joined actor Andy Garcia and other prominent members of the Cuban-American community in the custody battle over shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez.

The Miami-based community campaigned for the six-year-old Cuban boy to stay in the US against his father's wishes, but was thwarted when the US government intervened.

See also:

26 Jul 00 | Americas
Cubans march against US embargo
15 Jul 00 | Americas
Castro meets castaway Elian
31 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Estefan joins Cuban boy row
27 Apr 00 | Americas
What's life really like in Cuba?
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