This is the first statement of the great defier of the American blockade, President Fidel Castro, since he underwent an unspecified gastrointestinal procedure:
Castro's Statement on His 80th Birthday THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The statement by Fidel Castro on his 80th birthday, published Sunday in the Communist youth newspaper Juventud Rebelde, along with the first pictures of the Cuban leader since he announced July 31 he had undergone surgery and was temporarily stepping aside:
''Dear compatriots and friends of Cuba and the rest of the world:
Today, the day of the 13th, I reach 80 years of age.
To say that the objective stability has considerably improved is not making up a lie. To affirm that the recovery period will take a short time and that there is no risk would be absolutely incorrect.
I ask you all to be optimistic, and at the same time to be ready to face any adverse news.
To the people of Cuba, infinite gratitude for your loving support. The country is marching on and will continue marching on perfectly well.''
To my comrades in the struggle, eternal glory for resisting and conquering the empire, demonstrating that a better world is possible.
Today, the 13th of August, I feel very happy.
For all those who care about my health, I promise to fight for it.''