Havana 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 says.
The island's acting president gave the first clues about his brother's health in weeks, saying during a Monday 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 ailing brother, who has not been seen in public since announcing he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and was stepping down in favor of a provisional government in July 2006.
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.
Though Fidel Castro's condition and even his exact illness are state secrets, he has officially retained his post atop Cuba's supreme governing body, the Council of State. Parliamentary elections take place Jan. 20.