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Castro to appear on Cuban TV Monday

Fidel Castro, the ailing 83-year-old revolutionary leader who still heads Cuba's Communist Party, is to make a rare television appearance on Monday, the state-run daily Granma reported.

world Updated: Jul 12, 2010 19:54 IST

Fidel Castro, the ailing 83-year-old revolutionary leader who still heads Cuba's Communist Party, is to make a rare television appearance on Monday, the state-run daily Granma reported.

The Communist Party mouthpiece said Castro, who last appeared in a video aired on television 11 months ago, would appear in a special edition of Mesa Redonda (Round Table) to talk about current events in the Middle East.

Granma did not indicate whether the current affairs show was being run live or taped.

Fidel Castro led Cuba for almost five decades before a health crisis led him to step aside as president in 2006 and hand over the reins to his brother Raul.

Political columns in the name of Fidel Castro continue to appear regularly in the state media.

Cuban media showed pictures of Castro over the weekend attending a function at a science center on Wednesday. It was his first known public outing since December.

Five photos were published of Castro wearing a track suit -- his customary attire since relinquishing the presidency and his favored army fatigues -- greeting well-wishers at Havana's National Center for Scientific Investigation.

The photographs emerged as Cuba began Saturday releasing a group political prisoners under a landmark church-brokered deal last week.

If all 52 activists are freed as the government has promised, it would be the largest prisoner release of Raul Castro's tenure.