Castro welcomes Chinese delegation
Communist party visits Cuba to further discuss economic ties.
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2007 08:21 GMT

Castro has not been seen in
public since treatment in July

A Communist party delegation has visited Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, and his younger brother to discuss trade, officials say.


Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency reported on Saturday that Wu Guanzheng, a senior member of the Chinese Communist party, met separately with both Castro and his younger brother Raul.

Trade between the two communist countries has prospered in recent years, growing to $1.8bn in 2006, double that of 2005, according to Chinese officials in Cuba.


Chinese exports of buses, locomotives and farm equipment and supplies to Cuba helped account for the sharp inc

China is Cuba's second-most important trade partner after Venezuela and one of its principal sources of credit.


A government statement said the meeting was "fruitful and touched on a number of themes".


Wu will travel to Colombia and Chile on official meetings after his Cuban visit.


Ailing leader


The condition and exact ailment of the Fidel Castro, 80, remain state secrets, but he is largely believed to suffer from diverticular disease, which can cause inflammation and bleeding in the colon.


He has not been seen in public since before July 31, when he announced he had undergone surgery and was provisionally ceding his powers to his brother while he recovered.


Since then, he has been seen only in photographs and videos released by the government, initially looking thin and weak but more recently appearing stronger.


No new images of Fidel Castro, either on video or in photographs, were shown during Friday's brief television news report.


After meeting Fidel Castro for an hour and delivering a letter from Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, Wu met Raul Castro to discuss economic and other issues, Prensa Latina said.

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