Posted on Saturday, 06.13.09
Fidel Castro’s son tricked in Internet love sting
A man posing as a woman carried out an eight-month Internet flirtation
with Fidel Castro’s son — and found out the famed security protecting
Cuba’s leaders is not as tight as it’s believed to be.
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
One of Fidel Castro’s sons carried on an eight-month flirtation over the
Internet with a person he believed was a Colombian woman. Surprise! The
woman was actually a Miami man.
The trickster said the prank, broadcast on a Miami TV station, showed
it’s possible to get around Cuba’s security.
”Guess where I am and I will make love to you without stopping,”
Antonio Castro Soto del Valle, Fidel’s son and physician for the Cuban
national baseball team, reportedly wrote ”Claudia” during a January
trip to Russia with his uncle Raúl.
But ”Claudia” turned out to be Luis Domínguez, a Cuban-born Miamian
who unveiled the sting on Americateve TV Channel 41 in Miami, saying it
was designed to ‘’shatter the myth of an impenetrable” security system.
”Claudia’s” cyber-boyfriend never revealed any state secrets and made
no mention of Fidel during their more than 20 Internet chats. But he
sent her what he said were his phone number and home address in Havana,
wrote that he had no bodyguards and gave advance notice of a trip to
Mexico — all breaches of the tight secrecy that has always surrounded
Fidel Castro’s family life.
And when rumors swept Miami in mid-January that Fidel Castro had died,
Domínguez said, he assured Americateve that the rumors were likely false
because Antonio was keeping up his regular chats with his cyber-girlfriend.
The man who used the Canada-based e-mail address ”[email protected]”
also provided ”Claudia” with details of a life far richer than the
grind of the average Cuban — weekends in Varadero beach, Lacoste shirts
and belt buckles, a personal Apple computer and a BlackBerry with
Internet access, Domínguez’s files showed.
”While everyday Cubans were banned from using the Internet cafes in
Havana hotels, this guy had a BlackBerry and unlimited access to the
Web,” said Domínguez, 46, a security company employee who runs a
website featuring reports on Cuba’s armed forces and security services
Domínguez provided The Miami Herald with computer files containing chats
between ”Claudia” and ”tonycsport,” and photos of Antonio Castro
from what Domínguez said were videocam chats. Americateve producer
Miguel Cossio said key details of Domínguez’s tale were independently
confirmed. Castro did not answer Miami Herald e-mails seeking his comments.
According to Domínguez, the sting grew out of his visit to a 2006
baseball tournament in Cartagena, Colombia, that included the Cuban
team. ”Antonio was like a rock star, everyone asking to take photos
with him — and especially beautiful women,” he recalled. “That’s
where I got the idea that we could get close to him by posing as one of
First, he worked out a profile of the kind of woman the 42-year-old
Castro apparently prefers. Domínguez looked at photos of Castro’s
current and former girlfriends, then created a ”virtual woman” to fit
the mold — Claudia Valencia (very common names in Colombia), a 26-27
year old brunette with blond highlights and a sports journalist who,
like Antonio, follows soccer and technology.
Then last summer, [email protected] e-mailed ”tonycsport”
that they had met in Cartagena, and they became ”friends” on the
Tagged social networking site. Their online chats began in October,
according to Domínguez.
Tonycsport sent Claudia photos of himself — easily recognizable as
Antonio Castro — at the Beijing Olympics and in Moscow. When Tonycsport
asked for photos of Claudia, Domínguez said, he e-mailed back what he
would only describe as a ”virtual photo” of Claudia. And when
Tonycsport asked if she had a webcam, Claudia replied that her webcam
Some of the chats lasted just a few minutes, but the longest was for
five hours, Domínguez said. And, as time passed, they grew from simply
friendly to amorous.
”You know something, I want something more with you,” Tonycsport wrote
in one chat. ”I have a desire to kiss you,” he offered in another. In
a third, he wrote that he wanted to “kiss you, love you and make love
The chats dropped off after the Cuban team was knocked out of the
Baseball Classic tournament in the semifinals played in March in California.
Domínguez approached Americateve with his story about three months ago,
Cossio said, and the two worked to turn it into two reports for the
nightly A Mano Limpia program hosted by Oscar Haza.
”This is journalism because the BlackBerry, the computers, the travels,
in any country that would be common and normal, but in the case of Cuba,
he lives in a world like no other Cuban. We’re showing the audience the
two Cubas,” Cossio said. “That supposed revolutionary morality,
Antonio does not live it.”
A Mano Limpia broadcast the first report on Thursday, June 4. By
Saturday afternoon, when The Miami Herald first interviewed Domínguez,
most of Tonycsport’s several e-mail addresses had been disabled. The
phone number he gave Claudia was not enabled to receive international calls.
But when Domínguez signed on to the ”Claudiacartagena82” account on
Yahoo to show The Miami Herald the record of the chats and photos,
”her” page showed that Tonycsport was also signed on to his Yahoo.ca
”Wow. That can be a trap by Cuban intelligence,” said a smiling
Domínguez. “No way I am going there.”
Fidel Castro’s son tricked in Internet love sting – Front Page –
MiamiHerald.com (13 June 2009)