In his first interview on the subject, the former leader of Cuba said he was "at death's door" during a four-year illness that he refuses to identify but is widely believed to be diverticulitis, an intestinal inflammation.
In a second interview, Castro said he was responsible for his government's brutal campaign against gay Cubans during the revolution in the 1960s and '70s, in which the government rounded up openly homosexual men and sent them to labor camps.
He said he has no personal prejudice against gays. "There were moments of great injustice," he said. "If anyone is responsible, it's me."
Homosexual acts were decriminalized in 1979, and the Cuban government now offers sex-change operations for free, according to the La Jornada report.
Asked whether he will become a public figure again, Castro said he "still has things to do."
Read the full interview in La Jornada (in Spanish only).