Rafael Diaz-Balart

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Rafael Diaz-Balart, prominent Cuban exile, dies.
BY LUISA YANEZ
lyanez@herald.com

Rafael Diaz-Balart, a prominent Cuban exile who was the father of two U.S. Congressmen -- Lincoln and Mario -- died at around 9 a.m. this morning of Leukemia. He was 79.

Diaz-Balart was a member of a well known political family and was himself a Cuban Congressman prior to Fidel Castro's revolution in 1959.

Diaz-Balart was also a former brother-in-law of Castro; his sister, Mirta, married and divorced the dictator in the 1950s.

Diaz-Balart died at home in Key Biscayne. His wife, Mercedes, and two other sons, José and Rafael, were by his side.

A mass in his honor will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. John Bosco Catholic Church in Little Havana.
Published in the Miami Herald on May 6, 2005
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