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.