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Castro's health said to improve

December 26, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

Fidel Castro remains on the mend, gaining weight, exercising twice a day and continuing to help make the Cuban government's top decisions, his brother Raul Castro said.

The island's acting president gave the first clues about his brother's health in weeks, saying during a speech that he has a "healthier mentality, full use of his mental faculties with some small physical limitations."

At 76, Raul is five years younger than his brother, who has not been seen in public since July 2006, when it was announced that he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and was stepping down in favor of a provisional government.

But the younger Castro said his brother remains a key voice in government and that Communist Party leaders support his re-election to Cuba's parliament, the National Assembly, a move that could allow Fidel Castro to keep his post as president of the Council of State.

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