Fidel Castro in very good health: Spanish doctor

November 17th, 2008 - 8:40 am ICT by IANS  

Buenos Aires, Nov 17 (IANS) Former Cuban president Fidel Castro “is in very good health” and “could return to power” if he desired, a Spanish doctor who treated the leftist leader when he seriously fell ill in 2006 has said.”Today, Fidel is doing very well, he leads a normal life and could return to power if he wanted to. He has no physical or medical impediments,” Spanish physician Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido said in an interview published Sunday in the Argentine press, EFE news agency reported Monday.

The doctor, however, told the newspaper Perfil that he did not believe Castro, who was forced to leave power due to an unspecified intestinal illness, wanted to return to power,

“I believe he does not want to return (to power). He gave up power to a second group of officials he trusts and with whom he is very pleased,” Sabrido said.

The 82-year-old revolutionary leader, who has not appeared in public since July 2006, handed over power to his younger brother, Raul, who initially served as interim president and was fully installed in office Feb 24.

“Fidel is very inquisitive, he always asked me in detail what we were going to do, like he does with everything. It’s the problem in dealing with an educated person: they ask, ask, ask, and you have to reply,” the doctor said.

After noting that he had treated “more difficult” patients than Castro, Garcia Sabrido said the former Cuban president had entered “another stage in life” that was “more reflective”.

Citing doctor-patient confidentiality, Sabrido refused to disclose the nature of the leftist leader’s illness, but he denied it was cancer and said the patient’s privacy should be respected.

The Cuban government has refused to reveal Castro’s illness, calling information about his condition a state secret.

Last month, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told Mexican television that Castro “is better, is recovering (after) dealing with a very serious illness”.

Castro had a convalescence that was “long, with several surgeries, but he has been recovering and is very active from an intellectual standpoint, he reads, writes,” Perez Roque told Televisa.

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