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'Castro sister says she aided CIA in 1960s'

world Updated: Oct 27, 2009 01:14 IST

A sister of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro aided the CIA in the 1960s, at a time when the US was plotting to assassinate him and replace his Communist regime, she said in a book released on Monday.

Juanita Castro, 76, admits to working with the American spy agency in her Spanish-language book "Fidel and Raul, My Brothers. The Secret History," according to an interview aired by Univision television.

Castro, who now resides in the US, said she was contacted in 1964 after she broke with Fidel and Raul, the current president of Cuba, and collaborated with the CIA both inside Cuba and when she went into exile later that year.

Juanita Castro told Univision that a person close to her and to Fidel approached her and said, "The CIA wanted to talk with me... because they had interesting things to tell me and interesting things to ask of me."

She said she was "left half-shocked, but in any case I told them 'yes'."

Univision said it would air more details about the story in a week-long series that continues Monday.

The co-author of the book, journalist Maria Antonieta Collins, said she and Juanita Castro, the fifth of seven siblings, began working on the memoirs 10 years ago.

"This is the first-hand testimony of a person who, from the moment of her birth, was connected by the deepest bond to two of the most notable political figures of contemporary Latin American history: Fidel and Raul Castro, her brothers," Collins wrote in a book description on Amazon.

Raul Castro, 78, officially took over as Cuba's president in February 2008 after his brother, revolutionary icon Fidel Castro, 83, stepped aside with health problems.