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Cuba's Castro Reportedly Faces 'Grave' Prognosis


16 January 2007

Cuban leader Fidel Castro is reported to be in very serious condition after a series of three failed operations and complications from an intestinal infection.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on its Web site Monday that Mr. Castro suffers from a serious infection that has worsened to peritonitis.

The condition is a painful and potentially fatal inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity often caused by infection in an organ.

Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, a Spanish surgeon who examined Mr. Castro last month, told reporters the Cuban leader was slowly recovering and wanted to return to work. The surgeon denied reports the Cuban leader had cancer.

But El Pais cites sources at the surgeon's hospital, Gregorio Maranon hospital, as saying the infections have left Mr. Castro with a very grave prognosis.

The 80-year-old Cuban leader underwent an operation at the end of July, and has not appeared in public since. He temporarily ceded power to his his brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro.

The newspaper report has not been confirmed. The Cuban government treats Mr. Castro's health as a state secret.

On Monday, a Latin America diplomat told Reuters news agency that Castro was having problems with the healing of his stitches after stomach surgery.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.



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