x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Fidel Castro suddenly back in view on Cuban TV

Former president uses television interview to discuss everything from threat of global nuclear war to use of energy efficient light bulbs.

Fidel Castro wore a dark blue track suit top over a plaid shirt. He looked relaxed and lucid, though his voice was raspy and he spoke slowly.
Fidel Castro wore a dark blue track suit top over a plaid shirt. He looked relaxed and lucid, though his voice was raspy and he spoke slowly.

HAVANA // Former president Fidel Castro used his most prominent television interview since falling seriously ill four years ago to discuss everything from the threat of global nuclear war to the use of energy efficient light bulbs. The one thing the 83-year-old revolutionary leader did not discuss in his return to the airwaves yesterday was events in Cuba, where the government freed and sent into exile the first of 52 political prisoners it has promised to release in coming months.

Why Mr Castro agreed to go on the air yesterday after so long in the background was a mystery, as are so many things involving the former Cuban leader, who has spent a lifetime keeping the world guessing. Mr Castro provided no answers in the hour and 15 minute conversation on "Mesa Redonda" - or "Round Table" - a daily Cuban talk show on current events. Mr Castro wore a dark blue tracksuit top over a checked shirt. He looked relaxed and lucid, though his voice was raspy and he spoke slowly.

Much of the interview was spent with either Mr Castro reading essays by someone else or having his own words read back to him by presenter Randy Alonso. Three academics sat silently nearby as Mr Castro spoke, sometimes nodding in agreement. Mr Castro warned that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic for the United States. "The worst [for the US] is the resistance they will face there, which they didn't face in Iraq," he said.