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Fidel Castro to Appear on Cuban Television

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro is to appear on Cuban television Monday, just days after making his first known public appearance since becoming ill four years ago.

The state newspaper Granma says Mr. Castro will appear on the current affairs program Mesa Redonda, or Round Table, on Monday. He is expected to discuss events in the Middle East.

On Saturday, photos of Mr. Castro were posted on a pro-government blog. The pictures, reportedly taken last Wednesday, show the 83-year-old Mr. Castro smiling and talking with people at the National Center for Scientific Investigations.

The blogger, Rosa Baez, wrote that Mr. Castro was thin but looked good and that, according to someone present, he was "very good mentally."

The information appeared on the website "Bloggers and Correspondents of the Revolution." The photographs were also posted late Saturday on the state-run media site Cubadebate.

Mr. Castro has been seen only in occasional photographs and videos since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in 2006 and ceding power, first temporarily, then permanently, to his now 79-year-old brother, Raul. Details of Fidel Castro's health are considered a state secret.

The former president publishes his thoughts on world events in frequent opinion pieces written for the state-run media.

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