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Published: Wednesday, 5/23/2007

In signed statement, Castro says he is better after several operations


HAVANA A statement signed by Fidel Castro today said his weight was stable and he was eating solid foods after months of intravenous feeding that followed several operations, including an initial surgery that did not go well.

The statement from the 80-year-old Cuban leader said he was taking all medicines orally and his weight had stabilized.

I tell everyone simply that I am getting better and maintain a stable weight of about 80 kilograms (176 pounds), he wrote. It wasn t just one operation, but various. Initially it wasn t successful and had a bearing on my prolonged recuperation.

He added that the greatest dangers to him now are age and the effects of not taking care of his health for years.

Castro shocked Cuba in July when he announced he had undergone intestinal surgery and was ceding power to his 75-year-old brother Raul, the defense minister. Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since then and his condition, and exact ailment have been state secrets. Top officials have insisted that he is recuperating steadily.

The written statement was e-mailed to The Associated Press by Cuba s foreign ministry. It will likely appear tomorrow on newspaper front pages and be read on the TV news.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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