Castro says his health no longer critical

Sept. 5, 2006 at 12:57 PM
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HAVANA, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Cuban leader Fidel Castro said in a statement Tuesday he is recovering "at a satisfactory rhythm" from abdominal surgery, and he has lost 41 pounds.

The 80-year-old startled his country July 31 when he announced he was handing power to his brother, Raul Castro, while he had surgery.

While the details of what was wrong and what was done were never released, Castro told the Communist Party daily Granma Tuesday he had abdominal stitches removed recently after 34 days of convalescence, and said the "most critical moment has been left behind."

"Today I am recovering at a satisfactory rhythm," his newspaper statement said, accompanied by 10 photographs of Castro, the Basque EITB news service reported.

He said he expected to participate in next week's meeting of 116 nonaligned nations in Havana, but cautioned against expecting much public exposure on his part.

"In the coming days I will be receiving distinguished visitors," he said. "This doesn't mean that every activity will be immediately accompanied by video or photographic images, although news will be provided of every one."

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