Chavez: Castro almost recovered, reassumed duties

Fidel Castro has "almost totally recovered" from his illness and has resumed many of his duties as Cuba's leader, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday. Chavez said at a news conference that the 80-year-old Cuban leader's improvement is clear. "Almost totally recovered is the very reliable information that I keep receiving," Chavez said. "The reports that I have and that keep arriving speak of - and not only the reports but his own notes, his voice on the telephone... a doctor would say real recovery." Chavez, a close friend and ally, has regularly offered updates on Castro's health in the more than eight months since Castro has not been seen in public while recovering from intestinal surgery.