Havana: Cuban leader Fidel Castro revealed Monday that he had been “between life and death” when he handed power to his brother Raul nearly 11 months ago after gastrointestinal surgery.
“For many years I was able to survive, by chance, the empire’s killing machine,” he wrote in an editorial published in the Communist daily Granma, referring to the US government.
“Soon it will be a year since I fell sick and, when I was between life and death, expressed in the Proclamation of July 31, 2006, ‘I do not have the slightest doubt that our people and our revolution will fight until the last drop of blood,“ Castro wrote.
Castro, who will turn 81 on 13 August and has not appeared in public since his 26 July operation, gave a separate interview to Cuban state-controlled television earlier this month.
“There’s no state secret,” he insisted in the interview, adding that he was eating “a much more balanced” diet as part of his recovery from what last year was said to be gastrointestinal surgery.
In yet another article published in May, Castro admitted for the first time that he actually went under the knife several times and was fed through a tube for several months.
Although the article gave the most comprehensive detail yet about the medical procedures he endured, exactly what sparked the health crisis that forced him to hand power temporarily to his brother and defense chief Raul remains a mystery.
“It was not just one operation but several,” Castro wrote in the Communist daily Granma. “Initially there was no success, and that resulted in the prolonged period of recovery.”
Castro, who came to power in the 1959 Cuban revolution, said that he is dedicating the current phase of his recovery “especially to reflect and write on issues,” that he believes “are of certain importance and transcendence.”
He has written around one dozen articles in the past two months, about half of them to criticize biofuels being promoted by his arch-nemesis, the United States.
The government has kept details of his health a state secret, although officials have regularly given upbeat reports about his recovery.