CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that his
ailing friend Fidel Castro is recovering and has been up and walking - in
fact "almost jogging"- in recent days.
Chavez said he was pleased to hear
from Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage that the 80-year-old Cuban leader was
making a recovery. Lage, after meeting with Chavez, said: "We will have Fidel
and we will have Raul for a lot more time."
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez
holds up a letter signed by Cuba's President Fidel Castro, during a
meeting with Cuba's Vice-President Carlos Lage at Miraflores Palace in
Caracas January 24, 2007. [Reuters]
Their hopeful remarks came less than a week after Chavez said Castro was
"battling for his life."
"Lage told me that Fidel walked I don't know how many minutes yesterday,"
Chavez said Wednesday, noting he suspected Castro was watching his speech on
television. "He's walking more than me, almost jogging. Maybe he's walking while
Chavez has regularly reported in generalities on Castro's health since July
31, when the Cuban leader announced he was temporarily stepping aside while he
recovered from an operation and was provisionally ceding power to his brother
Chavez held up a letter and said, "I'm going to show you something, for those
who say that Fidel is dying, that he can't talk, that he can't move."
The TV camera zoomed in on the letter and on Castro's signature in black ink.
"Look closely at the strokes of the signature. We are extremely happy, Fidel,
about the news of your recuperation."