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Cuba's Fidel Castro Appears on State Television After Long Absence


Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has appeared in a recorded interview on Cuban television, his first television appearance in three months.

The interview recorded Friday aired on state television. Mr. Castro looked alert and healthy as he sat dressed in a red, white, and blue track suit answering an interviewer's questions. He quoted the price of oil and Thursday's value of the euro against the dollar. He also held up a book published this week by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.

When asked about the state of his health, Mr. Castro said simply, "Here I am." Answering rumors that he has been near death, he said nobody knows when he or she is going to die.

Mr. Castro has not appeared in public since July of 2006, when he handed over power to his brother Raul before undergoing intestinal surgery.

He has published editorials in state media and met with some foreign officials, but his extended period out of the spotlight had fueled speculation that his health was failing. The 81-year-old leader's condition has been a state secret.

Mr. Castro seized power in Cuba in a 1959 revolution.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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