Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says Cuban President Fidel Castro has almost fully recovered from last July's intestinal surgery.
President Chavez made the remark Wednesday in Cuba's capital, Havana, one day after meeting with the Cuban leader for six hours.
Mr. Chavez used baseball analogies to joke that the man he calls his mentor and friend would again pitch for Cuba. The Venezuelan leader also said Mr. Castro would soon be ready to put on his military uniform again - a symbol of his resuming command.
Mr. Chavez spoke after dedicating a statue of a 19th century Venezuelan revolutionary who fought for South American independence from Spain. Cuba's acting president, Fidel Castro's younger brother, Raul, accompanied Mr. Chavez at the ceremony.
Mr. Chavez has professed his admiration for Cuba but denies modeling
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.