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Fidel Castro surprised to be alive

Published:Thursday | August 15, 2013 | 7:24 AM

Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said he decided to step down and transfer power to his younger brother, Raul, because he was diagnosed with a fatal illness in 2006.

In an article published to mark his 87th birthday, Fidel Castro said he didn't expect to survive the stomach ailment and live for so long.

Castro had been in power since the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

The long article was only published by official newspaper Granma yesterday, a day after his birthday.

Castro left office for treatment in 2006 but only formally resigned as commander-in-chief and president of Cuba in February 2008.


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