Castro Releases Statement on Eve of Cuba's Revolution Anniversary

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A statement attributed to Fidel Castro on the eve of the revolution's 48th anniversary assured Cubans today that the ailing leader could still recover from his prolonged illness.

The message was read by a newscaster on state television and radio. Castro traditionally sends a message to Cuban citizens every New Year's Eve to mark the anniversary of the January 1, 1959, revolution that brought him to power.

The message said quote ``I am grateful to you for your affection and support. Regarding my recovery, I have always warned that it could be a prolonged process, but it is far from being a lost battle.''

The message also said that he was being a disciplined patient, attended by a team of doctors. He also allegedly said he has been talking with his closest comrades and was up to date on the important issues of the country.