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A story claiming that Fidel Castro was the father of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not true. The Canadian government denied it, Cuba has never claimed it and Trudeau’s parents never visited Cuba until several years after Justin Trudeau was born.
The Feb. 1 suicide of Castro’s oldest son, Fidelito, spurred the most recent report on several sites, claiming that Fidelito left a suicide note referring to Justin Trudeau as his half-brother. A theory that Castro was Trudeau’s father was also shared widely on social media after Castro’s death in 2016, when Trudeau caused an uproar over remarks praising the late Cuban leader.
The Canadian government denied the reports this week. Justin Trudeau was born on Dec. 25, 1971, to the late Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his wife, Margaret.
Trudeau was born a little more than nine months after the marriage of his parents and more than four years before Margaret made a much-publicized first trip to Cuba and met Fidel Castro. Margaret was 22 when she married the 51-year-old prime minister and was the subject of intense media scrutiny. Experts say it would have been impossible for an earlier visit to Cuba to go unnoticed.
Cuban media have been unusually open about the death of Castro’s oldest son, Fidelito, describing it as a suicide after a long depression. Neither state media nor independent reporters covering the death have reported the existence of a suicide note.
This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.