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World leaders gather in Havana, Castro is on the mend

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World leaders gather in Havana, Castro is on the mend


Fidel Castro is ‘walking, singing and almost ready to play baseball’ according to close ally Hugo Chavez. Cuban authorities have released further footage of the iconic leader, standing up for the first time since an operation in July. Venezuelan President Chavez was in Havana for a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. Representatives of 116 developing countries were in attendance, hoping for a glimpse of Castro.

They got their wish, but it was not Fidel they saw; it was his younger brother Raul, temporary leader while Fidel recovers. It was Raul’s first public speech since taking charge over six weeks ago. He called for G15 countries like Cuba and Venezuela to come together to face common obstacles. One man who can count on the support of Castro and Chavez is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He defended Iran’s nuclear programme and received backing from Chavez who said he would not leave Havana until support for Iran was assured.

The event includes talks on issues ranging from the Middle East to the future of the United Nations. The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is an observer at the conference. So too, for the moment, is Fidel Castro

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