Syd­ney lawyer asked to help with photo exhibit by Cas­tro’s son

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY TOM AY­ERS

SYD­NEY — A lo­cal lawyer with con­nec­tions in Cuba has been asked by an agent for one of Fidel Cas­tro’s sons to help pro­vide ex­po­sure for a pro­posed Cana­dian tour with Alex Cas­tro and his pho­to­graphs.

Cas­tro has been known to sell some of his pic­tures, said Tony Magliaro, but that’s not the main rea­son for the pro­posed tour.

“I don’t think he’d be ad­verse to that, but I think it’s more for ex­po­sure,” the lawyer said. “I think get­ting his work rec­og­nized, that’s more im­por­tant.”

Magliaro grew up in Syd­ney’s Whit­ney Pier neigh­bour­hood, but his wife Ileana De La Torre is Cuban and their daugh­ter is also Cuban, al­though their son is Cana­dian.

Magliaro said his fam­ily vis­its Cuba reg­u­larly, and the hus­band of his wife’s fam­ily doc­tor is act­ing as an agent for Alex Cas­tro Soto del Valle, one of Fidel’s sons.

The agent, Ro­ge­lio Puentes Valdes, knew Magliaro was Cana­dian and sought his help or­ga­niz­ing a Cana­dian tour, press­ing him to look at an al­bum of pho­to­graphs last fall.

Magliaro said the pic­tures were nice, but he didn’t im­me­di­ately rec­og­nize Alex Cas­tro’s name.

“I was a lit­tle skep­ti­cal at first, but the skep­ti­cism soon van­ished,” said Magliaro, adding he met the younger Cas­tro last fall at the Riviera Ho­tel in Ha­vana.

Cas­tro, who is about 47 years old ac­cord­ing to some press re­ports, had al­ways wanted to be a pho­tog­ra­pher, Magliaro said, but at his fa­ther’s in­sis­tence he stud­ied en­gi­neer­ing in Moscow. Ac­cord­ing to one re­port, Cas­tro worked as a com­puter pro­gram­mer.

Once his obli­ga­tion to his fa­ther was ful­filled, Magliaro added, he de­cided in 2006 to pur­sue his true pas­sion.

“ There’s no ques­tion he’s a proud and loving son, but I think he’s also his own man and he loves to take pho­to­graphs,” said Magliaro.

Cas­tro likes tak­ing pic­tures of scenery and mod­els, Magliaro said, and has cap­tured im­ages of fa­mous peo­ple and world leaders in­clud­ing Nicaraguan Pres­i­dent Daniel Ortega, Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez, and Hu Jin­tao, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China.

Magliaro also said he’s no con­nois­seur of photography, but he was im­pressed with the qual­ity of Cas­tro’s pho­to­graphs.

“I’m not trained in that area, I have no ex­per­tise in that area, but in my opin­ion there’s some­thing that stands out,” he said. “I think this is his cho­sen ca­reer. He has a pas­sion for this and I think it shows in his work.”

Magliaro has started con­tact­ing some art gal­leries and is try­ing to gauge in­ter­est in a Cana­dian tour for Cas­tro and his pic­tures, and pos­si­bly a U.S. tour as well, “al­though that might be a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult, given the pol­i­tics,” he added.

Alex Cas­tro, pho­tog­ra­pher and son of for­mer Cuban Pres­i­dent Fidel Cas­tro, poses with a pic­ture he took of his fa­ther, at a photo exhibit in Ha­vana, Cuba, Aug. 12, 2009.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.