Fidel Castro energetic in meeting with US politicians

AILING former leader Fidel Castro appeared “very energetic” during a meeting with US Democrats at his home in Havana yesterday.

House of Representatives member Barbara Lee visited Mr Castro a day after she and six other Democrats from the US Congressional Black Caucus met President Raul Castro and other top Cuban officials in a bid to improve relations between the two countries through direct dialogue.

“He seemed very energetic. We met at his house, a house of very modest means. His wife was there, his son was taking photographs of us,” Ms Lee said upon her return after a five-day visit.

Ms Lee and two of her colleagues visited Fidel Castro, 82, who withdrew from public view in July 2006 for health reasons, ceding power to his brother Raul, 77.

“It was a very moving meeting, in some sense, because he was taking notes,” Ms Lee said. “He was very inquisitive, he asked us to send him more information about Dr King Jr. because he reveres Martin Luther King Jr.”

During the meeting with Raul Castro, Ms Lee and her delegation discussed, among other things, establishing a US-Cuban dialogue with no pre-conditions.

Ms Lee said she would convey to the White House the message that the time to talk with Cuba is now.

The visit comes with US President Barack Obama reportedly planning to ease some aspects of the 47-year-old US economic embargo on Cuba.

Mr Obama has also said he was open to new dialogue with US adversaries, including Cuba.


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