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Castro Appears on TV for 1st Time in 3 Months
President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela

Cuba's ailing leader Fidel Castro stressed his recovery from health problems in a meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez which was broadcast by Cuban state television on Jan. 30, showing the first images of the Cuban leader since Oct. 28.

The 80-year-old Castro spoke rather weakly but looked fit as he stood up and patted Chavez on the shoulders during the meeting, which the broadcaster said lasted about two hours Jan. 29.

Referring to his health, Castro told Chavez that he is far from fighting a losing battle and the two talked about environmental issues, with Castro saying climate change is becoming a threat to humanity.

Chavez said Castro has a good complexion and a sharp mind as usual. Castro was wearing a red jersey and drinking something that looked like orange juice.

On July 31, Castro announced the temporary handing of power to his younger brother Raul after suffering intestinal bleeding. It was the first time he had relinquished power since 1959.

It has not been disclosed what ailment Castro suffers from, and he had avoided appearing in public since becoming ill.

Earlier this month, a Spanish newspaper reported that unsuccessful surgery had been carried out three times on the Cuban leader. (Kyodo News)






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