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  •  Castro: I'm as surprised as anyone to live to 87 (9+ / 0-)

    AP: Fidel Castro: I didn't expect to live long enough to see 87

    Fidel Castro did not expect to live long enough to turn 87 after illness forced him from office in 2006, according to an essay carried by official media.

    In a long, wide-ranging article taking up three pages of the Granma newspaper, Castro, whose birthday was Tuesday, wrote about being stricken with a near-fatal intestinal ailment seven years ago. "As soon as I understood that it would be definitive I did not hesitate to cease my charges as president ... and I proposed that the person designated to exercise that task proceed immediately to take it up," he said, referring to his successor, younger brother Raúl Castro.

    "I was far from imagining that my life would be prolonged seven more years," he added.

    [...]

    Castro also touched on key cold war moments such as the Cuban missile crisis and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, and said the Soviet premier Yuri Andropov told him in the early 1980s that Moscow would not step in if Cuba were to be invaded.

    "He said that if we were attacked by the United States, we should fight alone," Castro wrote. "We asked if they could supply us with free arms as (they had) up until that time. He said, 'Yes'. We told him then: 'Don't worry, send us the weapons and we will take care of the invaders ourselves.'"

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