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Cuba’s Fidel Castro Laments the Difficulties of Growing Older

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cuba’s former President Fidel Castro, who made a rare public appearance to vote in legislative elections earlier this month, said his knee still bothers him from a fall he took almost nine years ago and he has trouble reading newspapers because of failing eyesight.

“I cannot read Granma sometimes as the letters are too small,” Castro was quoted as saying on the state-run newspaper’s website in an interview conducted Feb. 3. The 86-year old leader broke his knee and arm in 2004, an injury which has “taken its toll,” Castro said. He also complained about the glare from television.

Since handing over power to his brother Raul in 2006, Castro has mostly remained out of public view and instead writes columns in state-run media known as “Reflections,” which have grown more infrequent over the past year.

The publication of Castro’s comments comes one day after 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI said he would step down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years. Benedict cited his age and the demands of the job in deciding to resign the papacy at the end of February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at esabo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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