Fidel Castro Delivers Speech to Parliament after 4-Year AbsenceWorld | August 7, 2010, Saturday // 19:23| views
Fidel Castro, who lately made public appearances dressed more smartly, abandoned the white shirt for his trade-mark army fatigues for his speech to the National Assembly. Photo by vivirlatino.com
Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader, has delivered his first speech to the national assembly since resigning over health problems four years ago, BBC reports Saturday.
The speech was aired life on Cuban National TV, showing the Members of the Parliament erupting into applause at the sight of Castro, 83, dressed in his familiar olive-green fatigues.
The speech, unlike previous ones which ran for hours, was only 10-minute long. In it, the Cuban leader spoke of the threat of nuclear war, involving the US and Iran. He accused the US of planning to attack Iran and North Korea and appealed to President Barack Obama to prevent such a conflict happening.
His brother Raul, who succeeded him as President, was present in the chamber and this was their first joined appearance in public since Fidel Castro stepped down, making political observers keep an eye on the body language between the two.
According to BBC, the older Castro offered a solid, polished performance, his voice stronger than at any point since he re-emerged into public life.
Fidel Castro is still First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and has become more active in the last month, giving television interviews and talking in public to selected groups.
Cuban Culture Minister, Abel Prieto, told the BBC before the speech that Fidel Castro was not about to re-enter the government, and only wished to "make Cubans happy".
Raul Castro, 79, has himself dismissed any suggestion that there is a divide in the Communist Party leadership.
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