[QODLink]
Americas
Aide says Castro recovering
Official says Cuban leader is still in charge and will surprise sceptics.
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2007 04:52 GMT
Castro has been out of public life since last July[GALLO/GETTY] 
Fidel Castro, the Cuban president who dropped from public view six months ago after undergoing emergency surgery, is recovering and is still in charge of Cuba, a senior aide has said.
 
Ricardo Alarcon, president of Cuba's national assembly, said on Thursday: "He is still at the helm."
Alarcon said the Castro was out of sight because he was following doctor's instructions for his recovery "which is going very well".
 
Castro relinquished power for the first time since his 1959 revolution when he handed over government duties temporarily to his brother, Raul, on July 31.
Alarcon said the timing of Castro's return to public life would depend on his recovery and indicated that sceptics were in for a surprise.
 
'Failed operations'
 
Alarcon dismissed as "speculation by gossipmongers" a Spanish newspaper report that Castro had had three failed operations on his large intestine since last July that caused severe infection.
 
El Pais, citing medical sources close to a Spanish surgeon who examined Castro in December, reported last week that the Cuban leader's prognosis was "very grave" because his surgery ran into complications after he chose a riskier operation to avoid a routine though uncomfortable colostomy.
 
Castro underwent initial surgery to stop intestinal bleeding caused by working too hard, the government said. Details of his condition are a state secret.
 
US officials have said they suspect he has terminal cancer.
 
Letter
 
But El Pais said he had surgery for diverticulitis, pouch-like sacks in the intestine that can become inflamed and infected.
 
Castro's main ally, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said last week that his Cuban mentor was "fighting a battle for life".
 
On Wednesday, Chavez read a letter from Castro to the media, displaying Castro's signature as evidence that reports he was dying were false.
 
"We are really pleased, Fidel, with the news that we have received about your recovery," Chavez said.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list