New York, Dec.15 : Cuban leader Fidel Castro has said that he wears a beard to save time. He believes that ten working days in a year would be lost if he shaved.
This and other revealing personal facts fill his upcoming autobiography, "Fidel Castro: My Life," out by Scribner next month.
Editor Colin Robinson chose to keep interviewer Ignacio Ramonet's "question-and-answer" format, so Castro's responses on everything from homosexuality to Hemingway, whom he hung out with when the author lived in Cuba, are right off the tape.
The revolutionary credits Hemingway's novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" for giving him the idea as to how to arm the guerrillas trying to overthrow Batista - join Batista's army and steal guns.
"While I was up in the Sierra, I remembered that book a lot. ... Over the years, I must have read it at least three times, and I was familiar with the movie. ... It talks about the existence of a guerrilla force ... in the rear of a conventional army. Hemingway describe[d] things in a very realistic way. Later, when we came to know that life as a guerrilla firsthand, we always came back to [that book] to find inspiration," The New York Daily News quotes Castro, as saying.
With a memory astonishing for an 81-year-old, Castro quotes President Bush's exact statements in paragraphs and tracks the ups and downs of gold prices under Nixon. His childhood reminiscences give clues to his ultimate rebelliousness:
"My father owned about 25,000 acres of land. ... My family was ... quite well-to-do," says Castro.
But at the age of six, his parents sent him away to live with a very strict teacher who was so poor that Castro went hungry much of the time, and had to sew his own shoes back together whenever they fell apart.
Yet there is no jealousy of his brother, Raul, who stayed with his parents, and who is groomed to run Cuba when Fidel goes to the great commune in the sky. But not soon. (ANI)
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