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Fidel Castro is well, says Maradona after recieving letter from the former Cuban leader

Retired football legend Diego Maradona has said Monday he was extremely happy to know that Fidel Castro was well after receiving a letter, dated Jan 11, from the former Cuban leader.

FEATURED WRITER
News 13 Jan 2015, 19:58 IST
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Fidel Castro and Maradona
An old photo of Diego Maradona and Fidel Castro.

Havana, Jan 13 (IANS/EFE) Retired football legend Diego Maradona has said Monday he was extremely happy to know that Fidel Castro was well after receiving a letter, dated Jan 11, from the former Cuban leader.

Maradona spoke to the Telesur channel Monday at the Havana airport from where he was to fly to Amsterdam and then to Dubai, where he has been appointed the ambassador of sports.

Maradona received the letter Monday in which Castro spoke about topics like oil production and export by countries like Saudi Arabia, the US, Russia and China, Maradona told Telesur and the Cuban media.

Images of the letter shown by Maradona to the reporters reveal that Castro wrote that he had still not been able to greet the three Cuban intelligence agents who were freed from a US prison and returned to the country as a part of the normalisation of relations between the two nations.

"Do you know that I have still not been able to greet them? Though I did send flowers to little Gema. What a beautiful name!" Castro wrote, referring to the daughter of Gerardo Hernandez -- one of the agents -- born Jan 6 with the help of artificial insemination.

He ended his letter with the words, "A big hug, maestro," followed by his signature and the date and time (Jan 11, 2015; 7.25 p.m.) of his writing the letter.

Telesur, on its website and Twitter page, posted photos of Maradona holding the letter which served to refute rumours of Castro's death.

The past week has seen a flurry of speculations about the health of the 88-year-old Castro, who was last seen in public a year ago.

Since recovering from the illness that forced him to hand over power to younger brother Raul Castro in 2006, Fidel has published written commentaries, known as "Reflections", in Cuba's official media. His last piece appeared Oct 18.

Fidel Castro is yet to comment publicly on the Dec 17 announcement by his brother and US President Barack Obama that Washington and Havana were restoring diplomatic ties after a break of 53 years.

Maradona, who was in Havana to film episodes of his Telesur sports show "De Zurda," is an outspoken admirer of Castro.?

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