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Cuban Officials, Allies Say Fidel Castro Out of Bed After Surgery

Cuban officials and allies of President Fidel Castro say the aging leader is doing well after undergoing intestinal surgery.

Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage said in Bolivia Sunday that Mr. Castro will recover within a few weeks and will return to his duties.

The 79-year-old Cuban leader underwent surgery last Monday to stop intestinal bleeding. The government says the president handed power to his brother, Raul, who has not been seen in public since the political shift.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close political ally to Mr. Castro, said Sunday he had learned the Cuban leader was able to get out of bed and hold conversations.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday Washington encourages democratic change in Cuba, but would not stir up a political crisis while Mr. Castro remains ill.

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