By Anthony Boadle | Reuters
Rich Canadian widow cash-strapped in Cuba
Canadian Mary McCarthy lives in the same mansion she and her millionaire husband moved into 62 years ago in the once-posh Country Club area of Havana.
Peacocks still strut the one-acre garden under royal palm trees, but the lawn is overgrown and the house filled with Napoleon III furniture, chandeliers and a Steinway grand piano is falling apart.
At the age of 107, McCarthy is wheelchair-bound, but still dresses up for visitors in a satin dress, silk blouse and chiffon scarf, red lipstick coloring her wrinkled face. Her pearl necklace and earrings, though, are plastic.
Her real jewelry and the small fortune she inherited when she was widowed in 1951 have been frozen in a Boston bank since the United States placed Cuba under sanctions after Fidel Castro’s leftist revolution in 1959.