6:26 pm EDT September 21, 2007
HAVANA, Cuba -- Fidel Castro looked alert and healthier in a video taped Friday, the first images released of the ailing 81-year-old leader in more than three months.
In the video aired unexpectedly on Cuban state television Friday evening, Castro spoke slowly and softly and didn't always look the interviewer in the eye. But he appeared to be thinking clearly.
Officials broke into regularly scheduled programming only minutes earlier to announce that an hour-long "conversation" with Castro would be shown.
The broadcaster said the video was taped Friday, and during a rambling interview with the host of the government's nightly "Round-table" news program, Castro discussed topics ranging from the price of oil to the value of dollar, giving Thursday's closing prices for each.
Castro also talked about an essay he had published Thursday morning, and controversies over proposed anti-missile systems.
Castro has not been seen in public since announcing on July 31, 2006, that emergency intestinal surgery had forced him to cede power to a provisional government headed by his 75-year-old brother Raul.
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