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Archive for Friday, February 2, 2007

Chavez says Castro has improved, gained weight

February 2, 2007

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— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Cuba's Fidel Castro has visibly improved, describing how the ailing Cuban leader has gained weight and is walking around and studying.

"A notable improvement," Chavez said Thursday, describing Castro's condition when the two met recently in Havana.

"He has gained several kilograms, and I think he is walking about more than me, analyzing, studying," Chavez said at a news conference in Caracas.

Footage of the meeting aired by Cuban state television Tuesday evening provided the first video images of the 80-year-old Cuban leader in three months.

Cuba's communist government has kept Castro's condition and exact ailment secret, which has led to speculation by some that he was gravely ill. Images of the meeting, which officials from both governments say took place Monday, appeared to be aimed at quelling those rumors.

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