Castro on live TV with Chavez
Cuban leader Fidel Castro made his first live appearance on Cuban airwaves since falling ill 14 months ago, seeming lucid and in good humour as he exchanged jokes with Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez.
The Venezuelan president, taking his weekly television programme Alo, Presidente! to Cuba on Sunday, sang hymns to Dr Castro. 'I am very touched when you sing about Che,' Dr Castro told Mr Chavez on the programme, dedicated to revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara.
'There is electricity in the air,' Mr Chavez said during the conversation.
Mr Chavez also travelled to a refinery in the southern city of Cienfuegos that has been idle for 14 years, since the Soviet Union's collapse.
Venezuela is helping revive the giant refinery. Mr Chavez said the project would help reactivate Cuba's economy and make both countries more 'united so we will have the strength to always be free'.
'Our father, who is in the water, earth and air,' Mr Chavez called Dr Castro, in a tone that evoked the Lord's Prayer. 'You will never die,' he said. 'You remain forever on this continent and with these nations, and this revolution ... is more alive today than ever. We will take charge of continuing to fan the flame.'