Fidel Castro at work on book with Chavez: blogger

Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:35pm EDT
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By Jeff Franks

HAVANA (Reuters) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who has been out of the public eye for more than two months, is working on a book with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and is not at death's door, a pro-government blogger said on Wednesday.

Yohandry Fontana, who often is first to report official information and viewpoints, attacked a Barcelona-based blog and other social media for spreading the idea that Castro, who turned 86 on August 13, is seriously ill, and said there was "bad news" for them and "the creative boys of the CIA."

"Fidel Castro works together with Hugo Chavez on a book that will appear soon," Fontana wrote.

"The source that confirmed this information also said the Leader of the Revolution keeps up to date on the position of Ecuador regarding the case of (Wikileaks founder) Julian Assange, among other national and international issues that interest him," the blogger said.

Castro was last heard from publicly on June 19 when he wrote the last of a series of brief columns, or "reflections," published in Cuban state press.

His last known public appearance occurred on March 28 when he went to the Vatican embassy in Havana to meet Pope Benedict during his brief visit to the communist island.

Observers said he was stooped and needed assistance walking.

The man who took power in the 1959 Cuban revolution and ruled the country for 49 years has been in declining health since undergoing emergency surgery in July 2006 for an undisclosed intestinal ailment.   Continued...

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) visits Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, who is recovering from surgery, in Havana March 2, 2012. REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout