Cuba's foreign minister says President Fidel Castro is doing very well and recovering from last year's intestinal surgery, which forced him to provisionally hand power to his brother.

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque made the comment Thursday, telling reporters that the Cuban leader is very disciplined in his recovery process. Perez Roque spoke to the news media in Brazil, where he is attending a meeting of Latin American and East Asian officials.

Cuban officials have refused to release details of President Castro's condition, saying the health of the 81-year-old leader is a state secret.

Mr. Castro temporarily transferred power to his brother, Raul Castro, following the surgery in July of last year.

Fidel Castro, however, has appeared on video meeting with international officials, and editorials in his name have appeared in state-run media. His articles have dealt with a variety of issues, including biofuels and what he considers to be American imperialism.

Mr. Castro seized power in a 1959 revolution.

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