Mexico City: Cuban leader Fidel Castro describes the illness that caused him to step down from power in near-religious terms a 'calvary' and his recovery a sort of resurrection.
Castro, 84, made the remarks in an interview with a Mexican daily.
"I was dead," Castro said in the interview. "I no longer aspired to living".
After nearly half a century at the helm of the communist Caribbean island, Castro stepped down in mid 2006 to get treatment for an illness that as of yet has not been officially confirmed. The La Jornada article echoed past reports that it was diverticulosis, an intestinal illness.
"I several times asked myself whether those people (the doctors) were going to let me live in such conditions or were going to let me die. Then I survived, but in very bad physical conditions," he explained.
He told La Jornada that tall as he is at over 1.9 metres, his weight had dropped to 66 kg. He has recovered some of the weight, at 85 kg, describing the process as a resurrection.
"This morning I managed to take 600 steps alone, with no cane, without help," Castro said.
La Journada said Castro suffered from diverticulosis, which caused him to have several haemorrhages and to undergo surgery several times. Castro himself did not refer to his illness by name, and past reports of diverticulosis have never been confirmed officially.
The historic Cuban leader said he needed to learn to walk and to write again.
"But I can and should improve. I should manage to walk well," he said.
Castro, who remains an avid reader and praised the Internet as a resource despite the technical limitations in Cuba, showed a great interest in current affairs.
"The world is in the most interesting and dangerous phase of its existence and I still have things to do," he said as to his plans for the future.
After a long period of absence from public life, Castro has made numerous public appearances over the past few weeks, including the first parliamentary address since his illness.