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Fidel Castro makes rare public appearance to promote his memoirs, 'Guerrilla of Time'

Castro, 85, has released a previously unannounced two-volume memoir about his rise to power in Cuba.

Former Cuban president Fidel Castro released his two-volume memoir "Guerilla of Time" on Friday in a rare public appearance, AFP reported

The memoirs are 1,000 pages long, and trace Castro's life from his birth up until the Cuban revolution in 1958, when he succeeded in turning Cuba into communist country aligned with the Soviet Union, AFP reported. 

Castro's memories are reported through conversations with journalist Katiuska Blanco

Castro, 85, has not been seen publicly since April of last year, BBC News reported.

"I have to seize the opportunity now because my memory is spent," Castro told guests at the Palace of Conventions in Havana on Friday, according to AFP. 

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Culture Minister Abel Prieto and Director of the Cuban Writers' Union Miguel Barnet also spoke at the book's launch, which lasted over 6 hours, according to the BBC. 

Barnet described Castro's recollections as being  "as vivid as a 3D film," BBC reported.

At the event, Fidel discussed current affairs, commending Latin American students for "standing up for their right to free education," BBC reported. 

He also recognized his close friend Hugo Chavez, who he said "had done more than anyone else for the Venezuelan people," according to BBC. 

Graziella Pogolotti, a Cuban writer, said she encouraged Castro to write his memoirs, CNN International reported

"I have to take advantage now, because memories fade," Castro said. "I am willing to do everything possible to share everything I remember well."

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"Guerilla of Time" is in the same vein as Fidel's last book, "One Hundred Hours with Fidel," a novel of recorded conversations between Castro and Spanish journalist Ignacio Ramonet. The book was published in 2006, right after the former Cuban leader handed over power to his brother, Raul, amid a health crisis, according to AFP. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/cuba/120204/fidel-castro-releases-memoirs