Cuba’s official newspaper, Granma, has published an article this week celebrating Fidel Castro’s 87th birthday. The former leader said he was surprised to have lived so long.
After the Cuban Revolution, Castro was officially in control for 49 years until he transferred power to his younger brother, Raul, in 2008. “I was far from imagining that my life would extend for another seven years,” he said of the fatal diagnosis in 2006. “As soon as I understood that it would be definitive, I did not hesitate to cease my charges as president.”
The lengthy article, reported BBC News, gave Castro’s version concerning the recent incident in the Panama Canal where a North Korean ship was found carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons from Cuba.
Castro said the weapons were from the 1980s when North Korea filled a void after Soviet leader Yuri Andropov said that the [former] Soviet Union was no longer prepared to step in against an “attack” by the United States. North Korea “sent us 100,000 AK rifles and accompanying ammunition without charging a penny,” he added. The Soviet Union later renewed its commitment with the communist-run Caribbean island.
Last month, Panamanian officials, while conducting a drug-search, discovered that the ship had two Soviet-era combat jets and other weapons hidden under bags of sugar. Panama has asked the United Nations to determine whether the shipment violates sanctions imposed on North Korea over its nuclear program.
Source: BBC News. Read More »