Havana Cuban officials said Saturday that Fidel Castro was steadily recovering from surgery and the government was still preparing for its worst-case scenario: an attack by government opponents taking advantage of the leader's health crisis.
Castro, whose 80th birthday is Aug. 13, has made no appearances in the five days since his surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding was announced to the Cuban public. Defense Minister Raul Castro, his younger brother and the man named to temporarily replace him as the island's top leader, also was nowhere to be seen.
Vice President Carlos Lage said that Fidel Castro is recovering satisfactorily from surgery and that the communist leader sent his "fraternal greetings" to the people of Bolivia, according to Cuban news agency Prensa Latina. Lage was in the South American nation for the Sunday opening of a convention to rewrite its constitution.
Lage is among a group of six Cuban leaders assigned leadership responsibilities by Fidel Castro after the leader's surgery.
Cubans had been warned there would be few details about the leader's health.
Yet some privately speculated the lack of information could indicate he was extremely ill.