Chavez admits Castro gravely ill

Post Reply
User avatar
Guysanto
Site Admin
Posts: 1289
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:32 pm

Chavez admits Castro gravely ill

Post by Guysanto » Sat Jan 20, 2007 11:54 am

Chavez admits Castro gravely ill

Cuban leader Fidel Castro is battling to save his life, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said.

Mr Chavez, a close friend of Cuba's left-wing leader, said he hoped Mr Castro would recover but admitted he faced a hard struggle.

Mr Castro, 80, has not been seen in public since undergoing surgery in July and handing over political power.

Mr Chavez spoke at the Latin American summit in Brazil in a rare admission of the state of Mr Castro's health.

Venezuela's president said he spoke to the Cuban leader by telephone for half an hour several days ago.

"He is going through a difficult situation but just like he says, the machine that they have to fix is 80 years old," Mr Chavez told the Mercosaur trade summit.

"I cannot give details [of his health] because I am not his doctor, and even if I was I would not give them to you.

"He's back in the Sierra Maestra and locked in a battle for his life," Mr Chavez said.

The Sierra Maestra is a rugged mountain range in south-east Cuba with a long history of guerrilla warfare.

After Fidel Castro returned to Cuba from exile in Mexico, he and his fellow rebels hid out in the Sierra Maestra from where they were able to expand their 26 July Movement, building up their guerrilla forces and starting the revolution which in 1959 overthrew the regime led by Fulgencio Batista.

"There are those who want Fidel to die... [but] we have confidence he will recover completely.

"I don't know when Fidel will die, I hope he lives 80 more years, I hope he lives 100 more years."

There have been steady reports suggesting that Mr Castro's condition is extremely serious.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Dr Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, head of surgery at Madrid's Gregorio Maranon public hospital, described Mr Castro's recovery as "slow but progressive".

Dr Garcia Sabrido examined the Cuban leader late last year.

Earlier this week a Spanish newspaper quoted medical sources as saying Mr Castro opted for a risky medical procedure that led to grave complications.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 281621.stm

Published: 2007/01/20 07:22:20 GMT

© BBC MMVII

User avatar
Guysanto
Site Admin
Posts: 1289
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:32 pm

Castro letter 'sign of recovery'

Post by Guysanto » Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:11 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has shown a letter from Fidel Castro which he says is proof that the ailing Cuban president is recovering.

Mr Chavez drew attention to Mr Castro's firm handwriting, saying: "This is for those who say he's dying."

The letter was delivered by Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage who had told him Mr Castro was now up and walking.

The Cuban leader's condition has been the subject of much speculation since he underwent gastric surgery last July.

The 80-year-old's health is treated as a state secret in Cuba

Earlier this month, President Chavez refuted a report in a Spanish newspaper that said Mr Castro's prognosis was very grave after three failed operations.

But last week, Mr Chavez said Fidel was ''battling for his life''.

'Extremely happy'

Speaking in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, Mr Lage said the Cuban people continued to be united and confident even though Fidel Castro is no longer in charge of presidential duties.

Fidel's younger brother Raul has been acting as president since July.

President Chavez showed the letter from Mr Castro at ceremony in Caracas where Venezuelan and Cuban officials signed several accords.

"Look closely at the strokes of the signature. We are extremely happy, Fidel, about the news of your recuperation," he said.

"Lage told me that Fidel walked I don't know how many minutes yesterday.

"He's walking more than me, almost jogging - maybe he's walking while watching us.

"We will have Fidel and we will have Raul for a lot more time," Mr Chavez said.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 297567.stm

Published: 2007/01/25 11:00:35 GMT

© BBC MMVII

Post Reply