Cuban President Fidel Castro, who has not appeared in public since undergoing intestinal surgery last year, says he is recovering and feeling stronger.
Mr. Castro spoke Tuesday with his ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in a phone call that was broadcast on radio. In the phone call Mr. Castro said he is gaining ground and has more energy and strength.
The Cuban leader temporarily transferred power to his brother, Raul Castro, following the July surgery.
Cuban officials have refused to release details of Mr. Castro's condition, saying the health of the 80-year-old is a state secret.
Earlier Tuesday, the head of U.S. intelligence said the ailing president's domination of Cuba will probably end this year.
But National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell also warned a U.S. Senate Committee that significant, positive change is unlikely immediately following Mr. Castro's death.
McConnell, a retired Navy vice admiral, made the remarks at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.