Fidel Castro Appears on Cuban TV Talk Show

The 83-year-old former president has made more public appearances lately.

ByABC News
July 12, 2010, 6:54 PM

HAVANA, Cuba, July 12, 2010— -- Fidel Castro appeared on Cuban state-run television for more than an hour this evening, delivering an apparently pre-taped performance that left little doubt the former president has fully recovered from the illness that led him to turn power over to his brother Raul four years ago.

Castro, who appeared to be in complete control of his faculties, used the interview to warn that a war between the United States and Iran was imminent.

Wearing a dark blue track suit and answering questions put to him by a reporter, Castro appeared in far better condition than he did in August 2009, when a 20-minute video of him meeting with Venezuelan law students was aired.

Castro, sitting behind a desk and shuffling papers, warned that Iran would not cede to U.S. and international pressure and any war between them would "inevitably be nuclear."

He termed the Iran standoff "the most serious crisis" on the international scene because "the Iranian government will not retreat." The idea that Iran would "go running to ask forgiveness from the Yankees" was "absurd," he said.

The state-run media had headlined throughout the day that television and radio would broadcast a "special 'Round Table' with Commandante Fidel Castro Ruz to evaluate the dangerous events taking place in the Middle East."

Castro has written a series of opinion columns in recent weeks predicting that new U.N. sanctions against Iran and the movement of U.S. and Israeli war ships in the area are a prelude to a war that could escalate into a nuclear conflagration.

"The empire is at the point of committing a terrible error that nobody can stop. It advances inexorably toward a sinister fate," he wrote on July 5.

The "empire" is how Castro usually refers to the United States, his bitter foe from the time he took power in Cuba in a 1959 revolution.

In a column published on Sunday night, Castro said the "principal purpose" of his writings had been to "warn international public opinion of what was occurring."