Fidel Castro in very good shape, says Hugo Chavez

Hugo ChavezCaracas, Feb. 28 : Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said 82-year-old former Cuban leader Fidel Castro seemed to be in a "very, very good shape" during their latest meeting in Cuba.

"Fidel is - well - very, very, very good. Very good. He was much better than all the times I''ve visited him in the past three years, two and a half years," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

Castro has not been seen in public since 2006 when he underwent intestinal surgery and ceded power to his younger brother Raul Castro. He was rumored last month to be in serious condition but the Cuban government insisted he is still active and working.

Chavez said he met Castro twice, once for three hours on February 20, and for more than four hours on February 21.

"Fidel surprised us all. He went for a walk. Fidel went out and they saw him. Fidel walking through Havana, through the streets. A miracle. The people were crying," Chavez said.

Venezuela''s socialist leader had received four letters from Castro a day before.

"Of course he planned it all so there wouldn''t be any record of it or anything. There''s a photo that I''ve seen, and in that sense I feel humbly privileged," Chavez said.

It wasn''t clear exactly when Castro took the walk.

During their meetings, Chavez and Castro discussed subjects including the world financial crisis and the new government of President Barack Obama, a Venezuelan statement said.

So far no images have been released of the meetings with Castro, whom Chavez views as an exemplary "father" for leftists across Latin America. (ANI)