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World News

Recovering Castro outpaces Garcia Marquez: El Pais

Cuba's President Fidel Castro appears on the daily newscast Mesa Redonda in Havana in this image taken from television January 30, 2007. Castro is his old talkative self and was fit enough to take a long walk with his writer friend Gabriel Garcia Marquez this week, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Thursday. REUTERS/Handout

MADRID (Reuters) - Convalescing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is his old talkative self and was fit enough to take a long walk with his writer friend Gabriel Garcia Marquez this week, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on Thursday.

“I tell you, it seemed like kilometres,” the Nobel Prize winning Colombian writer said, describing a stroll the two went for on Monday.

“Fidel is a force of nature,” said Garcia Marquez, adding that he found Castro in good humor and interested in talking about global warming and Latin American politics.

“It’s the same old Fidel,” Garcia Marquez said.

The 80-year-old Cuban revolutionary has not appeared in public since emergency surgery forced him to hand over power to his brother Raul last July. But aides say he is gradually getting back to work on matters of state.

Garcia Marquez, Colombian author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, which is considered one of Latin America’s greatest novels, went to Havana to dodge the fuss over his own 80th birthday celebrations this month.

The novelist has remained loyal to his old friend Castro, unlike many other Latin American intellectuals who have condemned him for human rights abuses in Cuba.

Some commentators have seen a shrewd portrait of Castro in Garcia Marquez’s “The Autumn of the Patriarch,” which describes the last days of an archetypal Latin American dictator.

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