Castro's Son Duped Into Online Relationship With Miami Man

Ex-Leader's son bragged about easy access to money, hob-nobbing with celebs.

June 15, 2009, 8:38 PM

June 16, 2009— -- The man who duped Fidel Castro's son Antonio into thinking he was carrying on a six-month online virtual affair with a Colombian beauty told ABC News the young Castro bragged about his life of international travel, easy access to money and hob-nobbing with world leaders and celebrities.

Luis Dominguez, a 46-year-old Cuban activist from Miami, said that posing as "Claudia Valencia," a 20-something brunette beauty from Cartagena, Colombia, he engaged in an online flirtation with Antonio "Tony" Castro Soto del Valle.

"Claudia" and Castro exchanged e-mails, Internet chats, and at one point even used streaming live Web video to communicate.

During "Claudia" and Castro's Web romance, the dictator's son never shared details about his father, Fidel, or any Cuban intelligence secrets, but Dominguez said he was able to get glimpses of the life of luxuries and freedoms the Cuban leaders enjoy while the people of the island nation struggle.

"In a communist country, where everybody is supposed to be the same, obviously this guy is jumping all the rules," Dominguez told ABC News.

Dominguez said he got the idea for the ruse in 2006 during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Tony Castro was also in Colombia as the team physician for the Cuban national baseball team.

After the game, Dominguez said he saw "hundreds of girls taking pictures" with the dictator's son and Castro was "acting like a rock star."

"He was giving them his e-mail and phone number and inviting them to go out to a night club," Dominguez said.

After seeing the ex-dictator's son share his personal contact information with so many women, Dominguez said he decided to create a fictitious personality to flirt with and get information from Castro.

Dominguez, a Cuban-born Miami resident runs the blog, which features posts on Cuban security and military forces, as well as transcripts of some of the interactions between "Claudia Valencia" and Castro's son.

To gain his way into the life of Fidel's son, Dominguez said he created a woman he thought that Castro would find attractive -- "Claudia Valencia," a young beautiful brunette from Cartagena, who claimed to have met Antonio at the baseball game in 2006.

Fidel Castro's Son Duped Into Online Romance With Man

Using the e-mail address, "Claudia" e-mailed Castro at a Canadian-based Yahoo account, The owner of that e-mail soon replied, and "Claudia" sent him a picture of an attractive woman, whose photo was picked because of her resemblance to one of Castro's former girlfriends.

ABC News received no response to e-mails sent to the address where Domniguez said "Claudia" contacted Tony Castro.

The Cuban government has not commented, and reaction to the allegations Fidel Castro's son was duped into an online relationship with a man has been limited within Cuba, where Dominguez's claims have been not been broadcast or reported.

After "Claudia" e-mailed Castro, the two quickly became online friends, and began corresponding through e-mails and chats. Between September 2008 and February 2009, "Claudia" chatted with Tony approximately 45 times, Dominguez said.

Castro gave out his cell phone number and invited "Claudia" to visit Cuba. He "even gave her ideas on what hotels to stay at," according to Dominguez.

In order to maintain the relationship with Castro, "Claudia" avoided asking direct questions about Fidel Castro or politics within Cuba. The conversation between the two became romantic, with Castro encouraging "Claudia" to visit him in Cuba, Dominguez said.

Tony repeatedly sent pictures of himself for "Claudia" and on several occasions the pair chatted for up to five and six hours at a time.

As the son of Fidel Castro, Tony Castro told "Claudia" he did not travel with any bodyguards on a daily basis but did carry guns with him and said he moved freely throughout the country with access to currency and communications, Dominguez said.

During the course of their online courtship, Dominguez said, Castro described for "Claudia" a lavish lifestyle out of the reach of most Cubans, who, under the country's communist rule, have restrictions to Internet access, travel and income.

According to Dominguez, Fidel Castro's son said he has constant access to the Internet, a BlackBerry set up for wireless and international phone calls and a penchant for Apple computers.

Online 'Romance' With Fidel Castro's Son Provides Glimpse of Cuban Rulers' Lives

"Most Cubans make $20 a month; I don't know how he can afford a $2,700 computer," Dominguez told ABC News.

The young man's access to Internet and communications are in stark contrast to what's available for most Cubans.

ABC News consultant in Havana Marc Frank said that while owning a computer is now legal on the island, "only one in every eight to 10 homes even has a phone, let alone a computer, let alone Internet."

For most Cubans, "BlackBerries don't exist," Frank said.

Castro's son, however, "had access to the Internet all the time" and was "sometimes driving and chatting with me on his BlackBerry," Dominguez told ABC News.

Castro also sent "Claudia" pictures from his extensive travels around the world. In one photo, Castro poses outside the Olympic village at the 2008 Beijing games, a trip he took with the country's baseball team.

According to Dominguez, on Jan. 29, while Tony Castro was on a state trip to Russia with his uncle, Raul Castro, he chatted on his BlackBerry with "Claudia" into the early hours of the morning.

He even sent "Claudia" a photo of himself from Moscow, just hours before he was to attend a bi-lateral meeting, Dominguez said.

Although "Claudia" usually kept her chats with Castro focused on romantic topics, Dominguez told ABC that he was able to use "Claudia" to get insight on Fidel Castro's health, information he then shared with officials in Miami.

"On Jan. 15, in Miami, the rumors were huge that his father was dying," Dominguez said. "That night, he spent over an hour and a half talking to me. To me, that meant that his father was alive and that proved to be correct."

Dominguez said he is determined to share what "Claudia" has learned about the Castro family with the Spanish language media and Cuban communities of Miami.