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Fidel Castro strictly following doctors' orders, Cuban official says

HAVANA (AP) Fidel Castro, who is recovering from intestinal surgery, is recovering and might attend his 80th birthday celebration scheduled for December 2nd, Cuba's parliament speaker Ricardo Alarcon said Friday.

``I know he is doing well, and that he continues recovering while carrying out his rehabilitation program with discipline,'' Alarcon told reporters.

The Cuban official could not confirm whether Castro, who temporarily ceded power to his younger brother Raul in late July, would attend December 2nd festivities in honor of his 80th birthday. Castro turned 80 on August 13th, but his birthday celebration was postponed to give him time to recover.

``I imagine he'll be invited and if he considers it appropriate, depending on his rehabilitation program, perhaps he'll decide to go,'' Alarcon said.

In addition to the official event, international artists and intellectuals are also planning to fete Castro at a series of Havana events beginning November 28th.

An art exposition, a concert with leading artists from Cuba, Argentina and South Africa, and an academic conference called ``Memory and Future: Cuba and Fidel'' are among the planned activities.
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