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Fidel Castro Shows Up on Cuban Television

The former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, on Monday was interviewed on Cuban television, making one of his few public appearances since becoming ill four years ago and ceding power to his brother, Raul.

Mr. Castro appeared relaxed, talkative and cogent as he answered questions from a host on the Cuban television current affairs program Mesa Redonda or Round Table. During the interview, he spoke about international issues, including those involving the Middle East, Iran and North Korea

This was Mr. Castro's second public appearance in less than a week. On Saturday, photos were released of the 83-year-old Castro smiling and talking with visitors at a Havana scientific center. They were reportedly taken last Wednesday.

Since undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in 2006, Mr. Castro has been seen only in occasional photographs and videos. Details of his health are considered a state secret.

The former leader, who came to power in 1959 in the Cuban revolution, remains head of the country's communist party. He continues to write opinion columns, called "Reflections," for the state-run media.

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