Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has made his first appearance on state television a day after being photographed in public for the first time in four years.
The 83-year-old, who handed power over to his younger brother Raul in 2006 due to ill health appeared relaxed and alert.
During the interview on Cuba’s state-run television, he covered topics ranging from the Middle East to North Korea.
But Castro failed to mention last week’s dramatic announcement that his brother had agreed to release over 50 political prisoners.
One of the dissidents on the list to be freed is Pedro Arguelles who spoke from prison with the famous Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.
“ They took me to the prison office to talk by phone to the Archbishop of Havana,” said Arguelles. “He told me that I was in the list to go to Spain if I agreed to leave. I told him that I wasn’t interested in leaving my homeland. It is my place to go on fighting for the rights and freedoms of human dignity. Here is where I want to be, on the front line in the fight against the totalitarian Castro regime.”
In all 52 political prisoners are to be allowed out of detention in a deal negotiated by Cuba’s Catholic Church. The first six have already left Havana for Spain and are expected to arrive there later today.