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Cuban officials: Fidel Castro is not dying

Dec. 18, 2006 at 5:30 AM

HAVANA, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro isn't suffering from a terminal illness, Cuban officials told U.S. lawmakers visiting the communist island over the weekend.

The officials also insisted that Castro would return to power one day, though a date was not given, the BBC reported Monday.

A group of 10 U.S. congressmen who favor easing the embargo on Cuba arrived in Cuba Friday to meet with senior Cuban officials, who indicated there would be no changes to Cuba's political or economic policies.

Interim leader Raul Castro, Fidel Castro's brother, reportedly did not meet with the U.S. lawmakers. Raul Castro, who recently said he was interested in improving U.S.-Cuban relations, assumed authority from his brother this year when the 80-year-old Cuban president underwent gastro-intestinal surgery.

The lawmakers' visit came amid comments from U.S. Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, who said that Fidel Castro had only months to live, The Washington Post reported.

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