UnNews:Castro letter 'sign of recovery'
25 January 2007
CARACAS, Venezuela -- Yesterday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez showed a letter he received from Fidel Castro which, he says, is proof that the Cuban president is recovering from recent surgery. Mr Chavez drew attention to Mr Castro's firm handwriting, saying: “This is for those who say he's dying.” The letter is all about Mr Castro's grandma and Che Guevara. Evidently he misses both a lot.
The handwriting is indeed remarkably neat and strong, and demonstrates, that even while ill, Mr Castro still has an excellent grasp of Arial 12 point. In an elegant handwritten (Garamond 11 pt) letter to the United Nations Secretary-General, Orlando Requeijo Gual, the Cuban ambassador to the UN said, "As our great leader has always demonstrated, Cubans do not need computers; we have excellent handwriting."
Mr Chavez received the letter in Caracas from Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage, who told journalists that Mr Castro was now up and walking. Speaking in the Venezuelan capital, Mr Lage said the Cuban people continued to be united and confident even though Mr Castro is no longer in charge of presidential duties. This development apparently alarmed Mr Castro to the extent that he jumped out of bed and began furiously pacing his room.
Mr Castro’s younger brother, Raul Castro, then evidently entered the room, and attempted to placate him by telling him that there had been unrelenting violence on the streets of Havana ever since Mr Castro (Fidel) underwent gastric surgery last July. However, Mr Castro (Fidel) only settled down after Mr Castro (Raul) gave him a small glass of a strange blue liquid.
Mr Castro (Raul) has been acting president of Cuba since Mr Castro (Fidel) has been in hospital. Mr Castro (Raul) has frequently commented on how healthy Mr Castro (Fidel) continues to be, notwithstanding “all that is thrown at him”. Mr Castro (Raul) is a close confidant of Mr Castro (Fidel) and has been giving him copious amounts of the strange blue liquid since at least the time of the Bay of Pigs.
President Chavez showed the letter from Mr Castro at ceremony in Caracas where Venezuelan and Cuban officials signed several accords. "Lage told me that Fidel walked I don't know how many minutes yesterday. He's walking more than me, almost jogging - maybe he's walking while watching us. We will have Fidel and we will have Raul for a lot more time," Mr Chavez said, demonstrating his adeptness at hedging his bets and alluding to his knee injury, which makes him unable to walk at all.
- BBC News "Castro letter 'sign of recovery'" BBC, January 25, 2007,