He has lived much of his long life in the spotlight, and much of it in the crosshairs, surviving a half century of assassination plots and attempts against him.
In a column titled “The Birthday” that was published in Cuban-state media Saturday, Castro said his younger brother Raul would have replaced him had
“the adversary been successful in their plans of elimination. I almost laughed at the Machiavellian plans of the US Presidents.”
Now in his ninth decade and increasingly infirm, Castro’s mortality is very much on his mind.
“Soon I will be 90,” Castro said during a rare public appearance in Havana in April, at a meeting of the island’s ruling Communist Party.
“Never would such an idea have occurred to me. It was not the fruit of any effort, it was the whim of fate. Soon I will be like all the rest.”