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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 April 2007, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Castro 'poised for Mayday return'
Havana street detail with Fidel slogan
Millions of Cubans are expected to mark 1 May celebrations
Bolivian President Evo Morales has said he thinks Cuban leader Fidel Castro will return to the public eye on 1 May after a long recovery from illness.

Mr Morales made the remarks ahead of a summit in Venezuela, adding that he had not spoken to him in person but heard the news from Cuban officials.

"I am certain that, on May 1, comrade Fidel will resume his role leading Cuba and Latin America," Mr Morales said.

Mr Castro has been out of the public eye for the last nine months.

We all would like for his swift recovery to be even faster
Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez

Last week the 80-year-old Cuban leader held talks with a top delegate from China in what is thought to be his first official act since his illness last year.

Mr Castro's health, which remains a state secret, came under close scrutiny by international media after he had stomach surgery last July.

Fidel Castro. Picture issued 28 October 2006.
Castro has not been seen in public since surgery in July

Some six million Cubans are expected to take part in 1 May celebrations across Cuba on Tuesday. The day marks International Labour Day.

For most of the last 47 years of his rule, Mr Castro has marked the occasion with a lengthy speech in Havana's revolution square.

"We all would like for his swift recovery to be even faster and for him to be with us," Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez told reporters on Saturday, the AFP news agency said.

"That recovery is coming along well, but it is going to take the time that necessary medical steps take, and we are going to have to respect whatever is necessary to do in that case."

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