New Fidel Castro book to tell story of his youth

Fidel Castro unveiled plans Tuesday to release a book in August that includes stories from his childhood and explains how he became a revolutionary.

The longtime Cuban leader, in a comment on the government website Cubadebate.cu, said the 25-chapter book would be titled "La Victoria Estrategica," or "The Strategic Victory."

The book focuses on the story of how his 300 fighters in the Sierra Maestra mountains eventually prevailed over the government of Fulgencio Batista in the revolution that seized Havana on New Year's Day in 1959.

Castro, who ceded power to his younger brother Raul in 2006 due to illness, said he was recovering and finishing the second part of the story.

He said the book would offer his own perspective on his life after numerous unauthorized biographies.

"I did not want to wait to respond to the numerous questions about my childhood, adolescence and youth, and how I became a revolutionary and armed combatant," he said in the introduction to the work.

Castro's health appears on the mend after a long period of reclusion and illness and he has been increasingly in the public eye with seven public appearances in the past three weeks.

Castro, who turns 84 in August, remains an important figure in Cuba and holds the powerful position of first secretary of the Communist Party.

The new book was written in collaboration with Cuban journalist Katiuska Blanco, who is the author or the only biography of Castro published in Cuba.

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