Lincoln Gabriel Diaz-Balart, son of retired U.S. Rep. Lincoln Rafael Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), died Sunday at the age of 29, according to The Miami Herald early Monday. Diaz-Balart was also the nephew of U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and Jose Diaz-Balart a Telemundo host.
The Diaz-Balart family are Cuban exiles and are politically powerful in Miami's exile community. Well known for their political power, Mario Diaz-Balart is a five-term congressman and a former nephew by marriage to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Lincoln Diaz-Balart retired from the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.
Longtime family friend and virtual sister, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), expressed sorrow early Monday in a radio interview during which she spoke of the toll of depression and suicide.
The Diaz-Balart family has asked for privacy and time to grieve.
The congressional office of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart referred Examiner to a statement sent to The Miami Herald by Lincoln's family and his wife Cristina. They also indicated that it would be the only statement issued and that the congressman is spending time with his family.
The Diaz -Balart statement made to The Miami Herald:
It is with infinite sadness that we announce the passing, on May 19, 2013, of our beloved son and brother, Lincoln Gabriel Diaz-Balart.
For many years, Lincoln Gabriel struggled with depression.
Lincoln Gabriel was a kind and loving human being. His love and compassion touched many lives during his 29 years.
We will remember him with profound love and devotion for the rest of our lives.
Lincoln, Cristina, and Daniel Diaz-Balart