Video footage of an apparently improving Fidel Castro has fuelled speculation the Cuban leader might make a personal appearance at an international conference in Havana. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave a very upbeat assessment of his health after visiting him in hospital. Now Cubans are anxiously waiting to see if Castro will be present at Friday’s session of the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
He has not appeared in public since undergoing surgery in July. The conference brings together leaders of 116 developing countries and is being attended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. While delegates are addressing a range of international issues much of the focus in Cuba has been on the leadership of the country. Yesterday Castro’s brother Raul made his first public speech since taking over temporarily as president.
Opponents of Castro are hoping to boost their cause. A group of dissidents are seeking a meeting with Annan to discuss the issue of liberating Cuban political prisoners.