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Cuban TV Shows New Chavez Visit With Castro

September 02, 2006|From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

HAVANA — Cuban TV late Friday showed a recovering President Fidel Castro sitting up, writing a note and bantering with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the first video images of the Cuban leader since his 80th birthday Aug. 13.

The images are the third set shown since the announcement July 31 that Castro had undergone gastrointestinal surgery and temporarily transferred power to his brother and 1st vice president, 75-year-old Raul Castro. The previous video showed Fidel Castro more frail, lying in bed.

Castro's health and whereabouts are regarded as a state secret, leaving many in Cuba eager for more information.

Friday's images showed a thin Castro, dressed in red pajamas, lauding Chavez for his just-ended tour of Asian, African and Middle East nations and calling him a brilliant and brave leader with new ideas.

Cuban media said Chavez, in his second visit with the Cuban leader in less than a month, spent more than two hours Friday morning with Castro.

Video showed Chavez greeted with hugs at the airport by Raul Castro and other top Cuban leaders.

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