Fidel Sick Of "Convalescent" Label

This story was filed by CBS News reporter Portia Siegelbaum in Havana.

We still don't know exactly what illness befell former Cuban President Fidel Castro, but in a column posted Thursday evening, the 82-year-old makes it clear he's sick of being referred to as a convalescent.

(AP Photo/Jose Goitia)
Castro chides "some agencies and publications" for depicting him as "the old man, the convalescent from a serious illness or some other description."

He accused the unnamed media organizations of trying to diminish the "modest value" of his conversation on Thursday with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, whom he met earlier in the day.

Bachelet arrived in Cuba three days ago. At the time his column was posted, the Chilean President, accompanied by her Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, was inaugurating the annual Havana International Book Fair.

Responding to questions from the press as she left the Fair grounds, Bachelet said Fidel Castro was "in very good condition" and that he was on top of things, "wanting to know everything and knowing everything."

According to Castro's column, he and Bachelet discussed the coup in Chile, the role of the Chilean Communist Party, which, he writes, "made no mistake" when it threw its support behind her in the presidential race.

(AP Photo/Argentine Presidency)
It wasn't clear whether photos of the meeting between the elder Castro and Bachelet would be released. The last photo published of Castro was taken at the end of January during a meeting with visiting Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.

Bachelet is the first Chilean Head of State to visit Cuba since the late President Salvador Allende came in 1972.

"Michelle," writes Castro, "has the merit of being elected as President of Chile by the majority vote for the Socialist Party which proposed her candidacy. For the first time in recent years a leftist organization in Latin America obtained such a victory without the support of money, weapons and the Yankee publicity apparatus."

A delegation of more than 100 legislators, intellectuals and members of her cabinet were accompanying Bachelet on this visit.
  • Portia Siegelbaum

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