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Archive for Monday, October 9, 2006

Brother rejects claims that Castro is dying

October 9, 2006

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— The ailing Fidel Castro is not dying but is recovering from an illness, his younger brother and Cuba's acting president said Sunday in response to rumors that the leader was on his deathbed.

Raul Castro, who has been standing in for his brother since July 31, was responding to recent reports including one in Time magazine that said Castro apparently has terminal cancer. Castro is recovering from intestinal surgery but the lack of details from the Cuban government regarding the nature of his illness has sparked a number of rumors about his health.

"He is not dying like some of the press in Miami is saying," Raul Castro told a youth congress in Havana. "He is constantly getting better."

The younger Castro said Fidel has a telephone next to him "and he's using it more and more every day." He said he had a long working session with his brother just two days ago.

Fidel, 80, has not appeared publicly since July 26, and no new photographs of the leader have been released in three weeks. He was last shown receiving private visits by world leaders during the Nonaligned Movement summit in mid-September, which was hosted by Cuba.

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