Castro surprised he has lived so long

This week Fidel Castro the former leader of Cuba will turn 87. He thought when he contracted a deadly intestinal sickness in 2006 that he would not live much longer.

Castro recently was interviewed in a long article that was published in Granma, the newspaper for Cuba’s Communist Party.

The article talked about the intestinal ailment that caused him to immediately hand over his presidential responsibilities to his brother Raul.

Castro said it was hard to believe that seven years later he was still alive.

In 2006, he provisionally stepped aside and then in 2008 retired permanently as the president. He is rarely seen in public today, though videos and photos of him are released via the country’s official media agency.

In his essay on Wednesday, Castro reflected on such topics as the death of Hugo Chavez the Venezuelan President, as well as on some science wonders.

Castro also wrote about key moments in the Cold War such as the Bay of Pigs failed invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He wrote that Yuri Andropov, the former Soviet Premier told him in the 1980s that Moscow would not help if Cuba had been invaded by the U.S.

Castro said that Andropov said if the U.S. attacked Cuba, they should fight alone. Castro asked if he could have free arms, as up until that point Russia had done that.

The Soviet Premier told him yes, and Castro replied, send us the arms and we will handle the invaders alone.

Castro also spoke of former leader of North Korea Kim II Sung. He said Sung aided Havana with providing over 100,000 assault rifles for free.

Last month officials in Panama detained a ship that was carrying a shipment of arms that were undeclared. The shipment included live munitions and missile systems headed to North Korea from Cuba.

Cuba called the equipment obsolete and said North Korea was going to repair them.

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