Fidel Castro, Cuba's former President and revolutionary leader, makes a rare public appearance to attend the inauguration of an art gallery in Havana on Jan. 8, 2014
Sven Creutzmann—Mambo Photo/Getty Images
June 4, 2014 2:35 PM EDT

Cuba’s ex-president Fidel Castro published a rare confession on the front page of a communist party daily Tuesday: His comrades are keeping him out of the loop.

CNN reports that Castro, 87, acknowledged that he missed the funeral of an old colleague, former volleyball coach Eugenio George, because no one had thought to tell him the news.

“Many comrades noticed the absence of a floral arrangement from us,” he wrote in Granma. “I always admired him but did not know of his passing until some hours later.”

The thinly-veiled rebuke comes as Castro’s role in state affairs quietly recedes from public view. Once famous for his four-hour-long speaking marathons and minute oversight of every facet of the economy, Castro relinquished power to his brother Raul Castro in 2008 after he was diagnosed for an undisclosed intestinal illness. He staged a brief return in 2012, writing hundreds of columns on issues ranging from international affairs to yoga, before retiring again from the public stage.



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